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ESL 325 (Nuttall)

ESL 325 (Nuttall)


Writing Assignment - The Annotated Bibliography


This type of assignment is very important for building research skills, which you will need in ESLR, English 300, and most college and university courses (level 300 and higher). An annotated bibliography has two parts for each source. The first part is the bibliography line, which you will write according to the MLA guidelines. The second part is the summary and evaluation paragraph. Both parts taken together are called an “entry.” Entries are typically organized in alphabetical order according to the bibliography information, such as the last name of an author or the title of a book.


Choose a topic related to your career field. Alternatively, you can choose an area of interest or a hobby. If you have not yet chosen a major/career field, this is an opportunity for you to research a topic you are interested in but have had no time to explore. See the tips below if you need to identify a topic for this bibliography. Go to the online version of this document to check out the weblinks.

Tips for Choosing a Topic

1. A major or career pathway - If you only have a general idea but no specifics, start by looking at the choices here at SCC: Academics, Career Education Programs. You are welcome to look at what our sister colleges offer, too: LRCCD Programs and Majors. This article lists some in-demand careers: The 30 Best High-Paying Jobs of the Future.

2. An area of interest – If you are not interested in a career, you can choose a general area of interest, such as art. It may be helpful to begin with a Google search to help you narrow down your topic. For instance, a student interested in art may end up choosing a type of art, such as Gandharan art from Afghanistan, or a specific artist, such as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei or Vietnamese painter Nguyen Gia Tri.

3. A hobby – This is similar to #2, but it is more specific to something you do for fun. Do you like to play video games in your free time? Then that would be your topic. The point here is to learn a lot about something very specific, so you still need to look for serious sources. For instance, math and physics are at the core of videogame design, so I would expect at least one of the sources to be about them.

2. Explore the library database

Use the library databases to find a total of six (6) sources. Be careful when choosing these materials. Skim the information to make sure you can actually understand it for the most part. If the material is so difficult that you cannot figure it out, then do not use it. Select something different. You will use Google search, too.

The final six sources should include:

• One textbook or another book about the career field of your choice. If you are already taking classes in your major, you can include a textbook from your class.

• Two articles of moderate length. The articles should come from a reliable periodical (scholarly journal, specialized magazine, newspaper, etc.), and they should give useful information about your career field.

• One website from a company you would like to work for, or a website that gives detailed information about your profession. It could also be a college or university website describing your major (e.g., the catalog description)

•The transcript of an interview or a video where a person who does the job you want discusses his career.

For this source, it would be ideal if you could interview somebody yourself. If you know a person who works in your career field, interview that person. You could also interview a professor who teaches courses in your career field. If this is not possible, you can look for a video in the library database or YouTube, but the video needs to be useful to you. For example, it should help you understand the demands of your career field or the possible career paths that will be available to you.

3. Printouts or Photocopies

You will need to include the following: • A copy of the title page (not the front cover but the inside page), the copyright page, and the TOC (table of contents) of the book. Since you will be reviewing part of a chapter, include a copy of the first page of the chapter. • A copy of each article. • A transcript of your personal interview if you do this part.

4 Write Your Annotated Bibliography

a. Follow the same MLA format for your bibliography that we learned for creating a works cited page. The format must accurately follow the guidelines in the most recent edition of the MLA handbook.

b. Annotate your bibliography; this means that you need to write a short explanation of what the book is about (see sample bibliography). The summary notes must be written in your own words. The evaluation must reflect your own ideas. Do not use book reviews or other sources other than the books and articles themselves to write your notes. If you cut and paste sentences and summaries from the database or other internet websites (Amazon, Borders, etc.), your entire assignment will receive a zero. REMEMBER: if you can find them online, so can I.

5 Write an After-Action Report

Once you have completed the bibliography, you will be asked to reflect on the experience and will write a short report in class. This will give you an opportunity to explain what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you would do differently if you could. In other words, your report will include an account of the process of creating your annotated bibliography.