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Assignment Overview
The annotated bibliography is a companion to the First Draft: Academic Argument Synthesis Essay assignment. The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to help you to evaluate sources and determine what others have said about the topic youre researching. In short, an annotated bibliography helps you get familiar with the ongoing conversation about your topic, which is necessary for eventually writing an informed argument about your topic.
When you write an annotated bibliography, you create a list of research sources that you summarize,
evaluate, and reflect upon. Building an annotated bibliography while you conduct research allows you to better understand and organize your research.
Assignment Guidelines
Each source in your annotated bibliography should be a source you synthesize in your First Draft: Academic Argument Synthesis Essay. Each source in your annotated bibliography starts with an MLA citation and then follows a four sentence pattern that 1) identifies the author and his or her credentials as well as his or her thesis, 2) identifies the medium or genre of the source and evaluates its credibility, 3) identifies the intended audience of the source, and 4) explains how the source can be useful in your research project.
Step 1:
To annotate a source, first cite the source in correct MLA format.
For example:
Gould, Joseph.
Citizen United and the Breakdown of Democracy.
New York:
University of New York Press, 2012.
Step 2:
Break down the source into the four sentence pattern:
Sentence 1 (Credentials and Thesis):
Joseph Gould, a noted journalist covering issues of public policy and elections for the Washington Post, argues that the Citizens United decision has irrevocably undermined the democratic process of our electoral system.

Sentence 2 (Medium / Genre and Evaluation):
Gould constructs a thesis-driven, book-length, academic argument in the field of political science.
Sentence 3 (Audience):
Gould’s audience consists of academics in the field of political science and public policy as well as public officials.
Sentence 4 (How You Can Use This Source):
This source provides information about the effects of Citizens United that I can use to support my thesis, and because it is written by a noted expert it lends credibility to my argument.
Annotations should be written as paragraphs and should follow the four sentence pattern above.
Do not include labels, bold text, or spaces between sentences. These are provided here so that you can more easily identify the parts of the annotation. Yours will look more like this:
Gould, Joseph.
Citizen United and the Breakdown of Democracy.
New York:
University of New York Press, 2012.
Joseph Gould, a noted journalist covering issues of public policy and elections for the Washington Post, argues that the Citizens United decision has irrevocably undermined the democratic process of our electoral system. Gould constructs a thesis-driven, book-length, academic argument in the field of political science. Gould’s audience consists of academics in the field of political science and public policy as well as public officials. This source provides information about the effects of Citizens United that I can use to support my thesis, and because it is written by a noted expert it lends credibility to my argument.
Your annotated bibliography must include at least six sources. At least three sources should be peer-reviewed academic sources or otherwise approved by me before submitting this assignments deadline. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order by the first word of the works cited entry (usually, this will be the authors last name).
Annotations should be specific and include details; however, they should not include any quotes.
All of the writing should be your original writing.
Due Date and Submissions
Submit your annotated bibliography in the Turnitin window below as a Word document by 11:59pm Friday, 6/12.
Grading
This assignment can earn between 0-100 points and counts as 10
% of the course grade.
Check the grading rubric
(Links to an external site.)
in the Turnitin window below for more information on grading.

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