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ESL 325

ESL 325


Writing Assignment - Annotated Bibliography

What Is It?

This assignment is very important for building research skills, which you will need in transfer-level writing classes and other college or university courses that assign research papers. Each time you create an annotated bibliography, it will be a little different because different classes and professors have slightly different requirements. However, the general requirements will be very similar.

To complete the annotated bibliography for this course, you will apply other knowledge and skills you have learned in previous modules: summarizing, responding/evaluating, using correct citations, and formatting the bibliography according to MLA guidelines.

The Citation and the Paragraph

An annotated bibliography is like a Works Cited page but much longer because it includes two parts for each source:

1. The MLA citation, or bibliography line, which is sometimes provided by the database where the information is stored. Sometimes, you have to put it together yourself. This is the part that is the same as a works cited page.

2. The summary and evaluation paragraph, which must be written in your own words. This is the part that is different from a works cited page. The paragraph summarizes the relevant information from a reading or other source, evaluates it, and reflects on its usefulness. For this class, the summary and response are blended together into one paragraph, which is between 150 and 200 words.

Both parts 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. This assignment is very important for building research skills, which you will need in W 340, English 300, and other college and university courses that assign research papers.

Step 1. Select the Topic for Your Annotated Bibliography

This is the first step in the annotated bibliography, where you chose to research a career path or another area of interest. Choose your topic very carefully because you will not have the time to change your topic. Choose a topic in one of these three areas:

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 these resources:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 video game design, so I would expect at least one of the sources to be about them.

Step 2: Find Four Sources

Use the library databases to find a total of four different sources. You need to include at least one video, one article, and one website. The fourth choice is up to you. It can be an interview, a book, an infographic, or anything you find reliable and informative about the topic. Be careful when choosing these four sources. Skim the information first. Be sure that 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.

Step 3: Save Your Selections

Once you feel confident about a source, copy the citation provided on the library page in a file entitled My Bibliography Sources or another name that is easy to recognize. Download articles to a folder on your desktop.

Step 4: Write Your Annotated Bibliography

The summary and evaluation paragraph for each of the four sources must be written in your own words. Each evaluation must reflect your own ideas. Do not use book reviews or cut and paste sentences and summaries from the database or other internet websites (Amazon, for instance). Remember: if you can find something online, so can I.

You will be able to share your partial draft with a small group of classmates. This step will allow you to make corrections where needed. It will also give you the opportunity to look at other students’ drafts and compare them with your own. Peer reviews are a powerful learning tool.

Follow the MLA format I provided in Canvas to format the bibliography before you submit it on the due date. If you are dissatisfied with your grade, you can revise and edit your bibliography and then submit it again. Keep in mind, however, that revising your work does not mean you will automatically receive 100% on it. While I can give you advice, I cannot rewrite your bibliography for you; ultimately, the grade will depend on your ability to read, summarize, analyze, and write.

Tips on Searching for Sources Using OneSearch (SCC Library Website)

  • Based on your keywords, OneSearch will scan all of the Los Rios Libraries' resources, including books, ebooks, and articles from all of our individual databases.
  • Use "quotation marks" to keep your keywords side-by-side as an exact phrase, for example, "career choices"
  • Use the *asterisk as a wild card to give you the same stem with any ending, for example, therap* will give you the words therapy, therapies, therapist, therapeutic and any other word that has the root therap.
  • Use (parentheses) to nest, or combine similar keywords with the connectors OR, AND, NOT, for example, (career* or employment* or job*)
  • An example would be: (career* or employment*) and therap*