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ENGWR 300 (Jacobsen)

ENGWR 300 (Jacobsen)


Two Assignments

English 300 Paper 3: Research Paper Annotated Bibliography

Overall length: 5 sources or around 4-5 pages
Weight: 10%

The Topic:

In this assignment you will begin your research on your final paper. To start, you will want to read over the research paper assignment and pick one of the topics. If you decide after you have written the annotated bibliography that you want to switch topics, that’s fine. However, changing topics will require more work. 


Annotated Bibliography:

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief description and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. 

The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of using appropriate research tools for a specific research purpose. Further, you will demonstrate your ability to select appropriate resources and to evaluate them for relevance, quality, and accuracy.


Step 1: Describe your research topic

On the first page, you will write an introduction that you could use for your research paper. At the end of this section, you will give your working thesis. This is just a rough introduction that you can change later. 


Step 2: Create an annotated bibliography

After your introduction, you will begin your annotated bibliography. Your annotated bibliography must contain the following four resources. Your sources need to be recent (within the last five years). Each annotation should be approximately a half a page in length. You will need:
•    One book or relevant chapter (print or ebook)
•    One scholarly journal found in the library data base.
•    One magazine or newspaper found in a library database.
•    One credible website. 

Please use headings and label each annotation. For example: book, scholarly journal, etc.


Each annotation should include the following:

•    A bibliographic entry in MLA format
•    A brief description of the content of the source (about a third to a half a page)
•    Two to three sentences evaluating the quality of the source or author
•    Two to three sentences describing precisely how you located the source (such as what data base you used) 

Remember that the assignment needs to be done using MLA formatting. 

Notes on formatting:  

--Double spaced
--Alphabetical order
--Hanging indents
--Abbreviations, capitalization, and punctuation

Please keep to page limit of 4-5 pages.


English 300 Paper 4: Essay with Research

Length: 4-5 pages for essay, plus one page for works cited
Weight: 20 %

In this essay you will explore a controversial issue by researching and analyzing various points of view. You should provide a balanced and fair overview of the different perspectives. Your thesis will take a clear stand on an issue. However, you should not try to come up with a thesis until after you have done your research. Go into the process with as open a mind as possible; your aim is to find out what the controversy is all about. After you have researched your topic, you will want to write a working thesis, which you will refine in later drafts. 



Pick one of the following topics.


  1. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that kids aged zero to six get twenty-eight doses of ten vaccines. While no federal laws mandate vaccinations, fifty states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools. Proponents argue that adverse reactions to vaccines are extremely rare. Opponents state that vaccines can cause negative side effects. Write a paper in which you argue whether or not children should be required to be vaccinated.
  2. While online education allows students to participate in opportunities they might not otherwise be able to, critics argue that there are many drawbacks to distanced education. Opponents point out that students don’t get personalized training or the socialization benefits of a traditional classroom education. Furthermore, online for-profit universities have also engaged in questionable business practices. Write an essay in which you argue to what extent online courses and distanced learning should be embraced today. 
  3. In the U.S. average tuition costs and fees have increased dramatically. These costs have contributed to a large, nation-wide student debt load. Consequently, state and federal law makers have introduced tuition-free and debt-free college proposals. Opponents argue that there are drawbacks to these ideas, though, such as they won’t help low-income and working-class students. Write an essay in which you argue to what extent higher education should be tuition and/or debt free. 
  4. More than half of the top fifty video games contain violence Violent video games have been blamed for school shootings, increases in bullying, and violence toward women. Video game advocates, though, contend that no causal relationship exists between video games and social violence. Write a paper in which you argue to what extent video games contribute to youth violence. 

Note:  Please avoid bringing in religion to support or argue a point. If you have any questions about what is acceptable to use in your paper, please feel free to talk with me. 



Successful essays will have six to eight different sources that you cite in your paper. Every source that you mention in your paper must be cited in your works cited at the end. (Your works cited needs also to have six to eight different sources.) Your sources should be recent (within the last five years).


Your sources can come from the following places:

•  Internet sources (no more than one)
•  Interviews (no more than one)
•  Journal articles
•  Magazine articles
•  Newspaper articles
•  Books
•  Encyclopedias (no more than one)
•  Rereading America (no more than one)

Note:  for this assignment you don't have to use the same sources as you did for your annotated bibliography. If you want to use three journal articles, for example, that's fine.



The audience is your classmates. Because your readers may be only marginally familiar with your issue or problem, you may need to orient them to it and familiarize them with the concepts and terminology relevant to the discussion.