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ENGWR 300 (Melton)

ENGWR 300 (Melton)

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Approaching your Assignment

Welcome to the LibGuide for Jason Meltion's ENGWR 300 class. 

This guide will help you with library research on your Annotated Bibliography assignment and any other research assignments you may have.

It will present information on searching books, databases and web sites that will help you define your topic; most of the library sources will also provide your required MLA citation.

Your assignment

You will need to create an annotated bibliography in MLA format.

An annotated bibliography is a list of resources you’ve gathered that includes not only the formal MLA citation for each source, but also YOUR explanation about each source: what it is, what it says/means, who it's for, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and why you’re using it. 

Each entry must include a full MLA citation, just like what would normally appear on a Works Cited page. The sources will be listed in alphabetical order, by the authors’ last names (if available). The only difference is that after the end of each citation, you’ll include a short entry that summarizes, analyzes, and reflects on the source, connecting it back to your research question Altogether, each annotation should be between 100-200 words long. You will want to discuss the following in each entry:

  • The purpose of the work
  • A summary of its content
  • For what type of audience the work is written
  • Its relevance to your topic
  • Any special or unique features about the material
  • The strengths, weaknesses or biases in the material 

A sample of an annotated bibliography in MLA format

This sample in MLA format is from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL). Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor Books, 1995.

Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic.

In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.

Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.

How the library can help

You will need a minimum of seven sources for your annotated bibliography. The librarian will be able to guide you to the most reliable sources.

Two will need to be scholarly, academic sources (peer-reviewed articles only).

Five will need to be from other timely and credible sources that are freely available (websites, personal interviews, books, etc). That means they don’t require subscription or membership to read their content. Think about what the source's purpose might be and how any biases affect its credibility.

One of these sources should address a possible counterargument to your position.