Prospectus with Annotated Bibliography
Audiences: Anyone looking for background information on your author or work.
- To develop your skills in using the Woodruff Library’s research tools.
- To expand critical thinking skills by teaching how to decide upon a topic, narrow the topic into a research question, write a prospectus, and prepare research notes.
- To provide practice in scholarly writing.
The prospectus and annotated bibliography are commonly used to propose a project and to keep the project notes organized while writing the paper. It is important that you master the annotated bibliography in order to plan, propose, organize, and research projects in college and beyond.
1. Decide upon a research question:
- Think of some aspect of the author or work you introduced to the class that interests you. For example, if we had read Moby Dick, you might do a blog about whaling which might include information about different types of harpoons, the ships that were involved in whaling, and some of the environmental damage of whaling.
- Do some preliminary research by find out how much information is available on the topic you are considering. Sources you might use for this purpose include books, web sites, journals, audio and video files, and online encyclopedias.
- After you have some idea of the quality and quantity of research materials available, and the significant issues within that topic area, create a research question that will guide your search for information. Think of a question that is narrow enough to answer in a simple blog.
2. Write a prospectus paragraph (typically about a 1/2 page):
The prospectus is the plan for your research project that you submit before actually completing the research or working on your project. It should contain the following elements:
- State the research topic and your research question: “In my research I want to examine the Whaling. Why was the whaling industry so important, and how did it effect the lives of people involved in it?”
- Delineate the main areas of your proposed research: “In order to answer this question, I will look at historical documents, websites, and read some historical journals to pinpoint specific aspects of what it was like to be a whaler.”
3. Write the annotated bibliography:
- List the source in correct MLA format for sources. Sources should be double-spaced with a hanging indent. Sources should be organized in alphabetical order. Try an online bibliographic citation system if you’d like.
- Immediately following the source information, include two short paragraphs:
- Paragraph 1: 1-2 sentences that summarize the information available in the source material.
- Paragraph 2: 1-2 sentence explanation about how you will use that information to answer your research question.
Specific Requirements for This Assignment
This annotated bibliography assignment requires a total of ten sources in the following categories that will support your research.
- The annotated bibliography is the first step completing a research project. Think of this as the information gathering stage.
- The purpose of the preliminary research is to get an overview of the topic. The sources you consult during this step are not necessarily the ones you will use in the research for your paper; however, if you find more sources, you might want to include them in this annotated bibliography in order to keep track of them.
- Your research question should be narrow enough to answer in 5-7 pages but broad enough to support ten scholarly sources.
- In writing your annotations, do not repeat the source title in the description of the source or use the title as the explanation for how the source will help you answer the research question.
Resources to Help You with This Assignment
- Interactive exercise on the Web: “How Do I Create an Annotated Bibliography?”(http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/bedfordresearcher/tutorials/Chapter04/index.html)..
- Sample prospectus on women and feminism in the Roman Empire (see below).
Objectives of This Assignment
- Use the writing process to best advantage.
- Use technology for writing and research.
- Select and use appropriate writing processes and strategies to produce academic writing that satisfies the needs of or can be adapted to writing in core curriculum courses.
- Apply conventions of writing effectively in any given rhetorical context with particular regard for audience and purpose.
- Display higher-level critical thinking skills (as defined in Bloom’s Taxonomy) in academic work.
- Use assigned software and technological platforms.
|Pts||Rhetorical Situation||Annotations||Formatting||Use of Language|
|100to90||Research question is appropriate for assignment; document satisfies audience expectations.||Required information is provided and thorough for each source.||All citations and all aspects of paper meet formatting specifications.||Style, tone, and expression appropriate for academic writing; diction well chosen; syntax and mechanics virtually error-free.|
|89to80||Research question is sufficiently narrow but the document only partially responds to it.||At least ¾ of the sources provide complete and thorough information.||Occasional errors in citations and/or oversights in page formatting.||Style and tone suitable for academic writing; syntax and mechanics have minor errors; diction appropriate in most instances.|
|79to70||Research question lacks specificity or is too narrow or broad for audience and purpose.||Half or fewer sources provide complete and thorough information.||Frequent deviations from citation and/or page requirements.||Style and tone fall short of academic standards; distracting usage, diction, and mechanical errors.|
|69to60||Research question does not address assignment or meet audience needs.||Each source lacks part of required information.||Formatting is of mixed styles or inconsistently used.||Little resemblance to academic writing in most respects.|
|59to0||Research question missing or inadequate.||Annotation missing or uninformative.||Formatting is careless or lacking.||Frequent errors inhibit clarity and meaning.|