UNIV 112: Focused Inquiry 2 Formal Writing Assignment: Unit 2 ? Proposal and Annotated Bibliography Due: Monday, April 12 (see below for details) OVERVIEW: Your major writing assignment for this unit is to write a research proposal and compile an annotated bibliography in preparation for the Unit 3 paper, which is a 6-page argumentative paper based on independent research. The goal of the proposal is to help you think clearly about your topic before you dive into writing the paper. The goal of the annotated bibliography is to provide you with a strong and comprehensive knowledge of your sources before you begin writing your paper. CHOOSING A TOPIC: Paper Topic and Works Cited The Unit 3 paper assignment is an open-topic project built around a research question. In that paper, you will make a particular claim (thesis) and back it up with evidence (research). We will do some brainstorming in class to help you choose your topic. Since you will be living with your topic until the end of the semester, your topic should be of interest to you. I encourage you to choose a topic within the context of your academic major. Ask yourself: What am I curious about? What?s something I?d like to know more about? In order to help you make sure you?re ?on the right track? in choosing a topic, you will be required to hand in a ?Paper Topic and 3-source Works Cited? on Wednesday, March 24. We will meet outside of class in randomly-chosen small groups from March 24-26 to discuss your topics and help you begin your research. Please bring the ?Paper Topic and Works Cited? to your meeting. These meetings are required. The Paper Topic and Works Cited includes the following: A short (1-paragraph) description of your paper topic. You must answer the following questions: what do you intend to study? Why is it of interest to you? And, most importantly, what is the question you seek to answer? List of 3 book-length sources you intend to examine This is an academic paper, using academic sources. Choose your topic with that structure in mind. Paper topics requiring non-academic research ? for example, web, newspaper, or magazine sources ? are probably not appropriate for this assignment. But note: you?d be hard-pressed to come up with a topic that has not been explored by academics! You could write an amazing paper about Barbies (about which there are a host of published academic books and articles), or mountain hiking (ditto), or graffiti art (ditto), or your favorite sport (ditto). One of the goals of this project is to help you learn some of the ways that academics ask interesting questions about the world. If you have questions about whether your topic is appropriate, do some preliminary research on the library website, and then come talk to me. RESEARCH: We will work together in class to help you find 5 appropriate sources for your final paper. You?ll start by finding 8 good sources, and then narrowing down those to 5 great sources. At least 4 of your chosen sources must be published academic print sources (i.e., a book or academic journal, or the photo image electronic version of a print source). We will discuss in class what an ?academic source? is, and what counts as a ?print source.? [NOTE: A good shorthand for measuring an ?academic source? ? academic writing includes citation of sources.] Your fifth source may be a non-academic, non-print source (including music, film, dance, interview, or web source), but it may be an academic source as well. I encourage you to build this paper around 5 sources ? no more, and no less. This will require you to find 5 good sources ? especially interesting, persuasive, influential, complete, or compelling works related to your topic. THE PROPOSAL: The proposal genre is widely used in professional life in most vocations. If you?re in business, the proposal is the first step towards getting a bank loan for start-up costs. If you?re an artist, the proposal can help you get grant money to support your work. If you?re an engineer, you might submit a proposal if you?ve got a great idea for a new product for your company. The proposal presents the early stages of your thinking about your project. It is inherently a persuasive document: it should persuade your reader that your project is underway and worth pursuing further. Research proposals (like this one) generally have 5 sections: A reflection on how you became interested in your project or the questions or problems that gave rise to your research A concise, interesting synopsis of your argument (paragraph-length) A well-worded research question or a proposed thesis (note: it is accepted, even expected, that this will change in the actual paper ? this is just a chance to write your first draft thesis, to gauge where you think your work is going) A status report of where you are in the project (in other words, the work you?ve done thus far, and the work still to be done) A literature review of others? previous research (i.e., published work) on the subject This is your annotated bibliography The proposal will be assessed for completeness, organization, and clarity. It should be interesting ? it should make the reader curious about your project! The completed proposal should be 2 pages long. THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: The goal of the annotated bibliography is to make sure that you are knowledgeable about your sources and their particular strengths and weaknesses before you begin your own writing. Each entry should be in the form of ?bullets,? so that the reader can easily identify all of the elements of the Annotated Bibliography. Apart from the citation and the history of the search, the entire entry must be written in standard academic English ? complete sentences, engagingly written, devoid of errors, etc. For every source (academic and non-academic), you will provide the following information: Complete citation, in MLA format (see Hacker MLA p378-404) History of the search (How did you find it? What database did you use? What search terms did you use? How did you decide to use this source?) Precis of the source (An objective summary of the source; 1/2 to 2 pages long, depending on the length and complexity of the source ? must include all of the elements of a complete précis) Credentials of the author (Who are they? Why are they considered a legitimate expert?) Justification for what makes this source an academic source; Alternately, justification for why this non-academic source is necessary/appropriate for your paper Your 1-2 page evaluation of the source (What is your response to the source? Why is/isn?t the source convincing? How do you anticipate using it in the paper?) We will practice writing annotated bibliography entries in class. During the peer review period, you will evaluate others? work and receive comments on your own proposal and annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography will be assessed for completeness, clarity, and organization. It should show your deep thinking about your sources. The completed annotated bibliography will be 12-15 pages long. PROCESS AND SCHEDULE: Your final Proposal and Annotated Bibliography includes 3 components: Cover Sheet ? a 1-page paragraph that describes your writing process for this assignment (Where did you seek help? What were your successes? What were your frustrations? Given more time, how would you improve your work?) Paper Proposal (Double-spaced; about 2 pages long) Annotated Bibliography of 5 sources (4 must be published print sources; 4 must be academic sources) ? alphabetically listed by author, with a clear space between entries NOTE: you may not change your paper topic after turning in the Proposal and Annotated Bibliography. Schedule: Wednesday, March 24: Paper Topic and 3-source Works Cited due Friday, April 2: 8-Source Works Cited due Monday, April 5: 1st Draft of Annotated Bibliography (5 sources listed; 2 complete entries) Wednesday, April 7: Bring 5-source Works Cited to Class Friday, April 9: 2nd Draft of Annotated Bibliography (5 sources; 4 complete entries; proposal draft) Monday, April 12: Final Draft of Annotated Bibliography and Proposal due
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