Part of the research process is formalizing the research you have been collecting. One way of formalizing research is through an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is a collection of annotations that are comprised of summaries and evaluations of each of the sources included in a research investigation. Writing annotations develops your skills as an informed researcher because you learn how to describe each source’s content, credibility, and relevance. This annotated compilation may help you find connections between your sources, or find how they compare to one another. Recognizing connections can be helpful when synthesizing your information, and synthesis can support you in identifying future areas of research in your subtopic issue or in identifying a preliminary argument.
This Part 4 assignment begins to formalize your research process and develops research skills that include effective summarizing and assessing credibility and usefulness of sources. You will practice incorporating higher order thinking skills (i.e. synthesizing) into your research process as you use your research to analyze the links and patterns that connect the sources. You will conclude by reflecting on your research process as you consider the people, groups, associations (i.e., stakeholders) that might be interested in your selected research focus.
Skills & Strategies
This Part 4 assignment will help you to
- compile an annotation of the sources you have read
- practice effective summarizing
- assess credibility and usefulness of sources
- determine current findings in a particular research area
- synthesize research by searching for links and patterns among sources
- identify similarities and variances among sources
- see big picture concepts among sources
- continue to narrow your research focus: selected subtopic
- consider audiences interested in your subtopic research
- compose a comprehensive introduction and preliminary thesis statement
Description (and Step by Step)
This Part 4 assignment asks you to annotate the three sources you identified in your Project 1 Part 3 assignment and compile the annotations into an informal annotated bibliography. After writing the annotations, you will include an introductory paragraph and preliminary thesis statement that identifies the area of research and your initial findings.
Step by Step
Step 1. For each source, your annotation will include two paragraphs (approximately 300 words total). The first paragraph will summarize the source’s key ideas. Use the 4-sentence rhetorical summary model addressed in Project 1 Part 1. The second annotation paragraph will address the credibility of the source and note the links, patterns, similarities, and/or variances between the source and the other two sources.
Step 2. After you have compiled your annotations and synthesized their arguments and drawn preliminary conclusions about your subtopic, you are ready to write your introduction. This opening paragraph should introduce your reader to your subtopic area and identify what people/stakeholders might be interested in or influenced by your subtopic. The introduction will briefly explain why this research is important. To conclude the introduction, you will (a) represent your initial findings based on the research compiled in the annotated bibliography and (b) write a preliminary thesis statement that begins to frame these findings.
You will upload this Part 4 assignment to MyReviewers by the assigned due date.
When writing your introduction, remember that you are still in the process of researching your subtopic. This means that your information will be brief, the conclusions you draw will be preliminary, and the thesis you compose will be representative of initial trends in ongoing research. Do not worry; you don’t have to have all the answers yet!