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English 120 - COMPOSITION AND READING - Mitchell-Marell


Annotations are required with the the FINAL version of your research essay. You can add them on to each entry in your works cited page. 



What is a works cited page?

A works cited page comes at the end of your essay and it is a list of sources (books, journals, periodicals, databases, websites, etc.) used in your research essay. A work cited entry includes:

  1. Author.
  2. "Title of Source."
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors, 
  5. version,
  6. number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication Date, 
  9. Location

To see an example and learn more, please follow this link:


What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a short paragraph that tells the reader more about the books, articles, and documents used in your research essay. Each citation (sese above) is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Annotations should:

• Summarize: What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.

• Assess: Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?

• Reflect: How does the source fit into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

How to Create Annotated Bibliography: 

Follow this link






English 120

Research Essay

Spring 2017

Professor Mitchell-Marell



Due Dates:

Outline/Proposal Due:  5/22

Rough Draft Due:         5/31 Bring TWO copies for peer review (aim for 2.5 pages)

Final paper due:           6/5 and must be uploaded to Turn It In.  

Turn It In: Class ID:    14945510

Class pw:                    mitchell (pw is case sensitive)


Objective: For your final paper, you will have the opportunity use outside research and construct and support an argument using source material gathered through research, combined with your knowledge, observations and analysis. The goal is to show that you can use reputable outside sources, and cite them properly, as well as your own written “voice,” to support your opinion and persuade a reader. 

Criteria: 950-1200 words for final draft.

MLA Format. (Times New Roman, double-spaced, page numbers)


Option 1:

Topic: We have read about and discussed the benefits of reading and writing this semester. Researchers have found that early literacy, meaning the development of reading and writing skills in preschool-aged children can have an enormous impact on children's futures and their success later-on in life. Research and develop a supported argument that explains what the “best practices” and strategies are to help promote early literacy in children.  


Option 2:

Topic: In Gloria Steinem’s essay “The Politics of Muscle,” the author argues that our concepts of male and female physical strength are less “fact-based” and more often influenced by societal and cultural factors. Research the concept of “gender norms” and develop a supported argument that explores which aspects of a person’s gender are socialized ( a social construct) and to what extent gender identity is biological.    

Requirements for sources: Minimum four outside sources are needed to develop your discussion. Required sources include (1) excerpt from a book or ebook (1) newspaper article (1) magazine article.  A scholarly article from a journal is recommended. Other sources can be the same as above or any highly legitimate web sources, such as Google scholar and those affiliated with a school, government or another non-profit organization. If you are unsure if a site is acceptable, please ask. Wikipedia and other unmonitored “open” sources may not be used not in your works cited page.


For this paper you will be graded on the following:

A. Development of a thesis- i.e. a debatable argument that is clearly laid out in the opening of the essay and supported in the body of the paper.

B. Quality of writing including grammar and strong vocabulary.

C. Structure and organization of essay

D. Use of all paraphrase, summary, and quotations (signal phrases, citations, works cited). Remember, all three require citations as they come from outside sources (i.e. not your brain.)


Revised dates and research assignment breakdown:

M. 5/15: Group discussion of article and annotated bibliography. Lecture on finding and

evaluating sources. Developing a thesis and outline.

HW: Read: MLA-3 (Integrating Sources) MLA- 4 (Documenting Sources)

Revise: Annotated bibliography of article.

W. 5/17: Annotation due.

HW: Write an outline of research essay  

M. 5/22: Discuss outlines. In class research/writing (English Lab)

HW: Write: Research/begin writing

W 5/24: In class research/writing. (English Lab)

HW: Complete draft of research essay

M. 5/29: Memorial Day No Class.

W. 5/31: Peer Review of Research essay

M. 6/5: Research Essay Due. Final exam prep. Class reflection.

W. 6/12: Final Exam: June 11:50-2:10pm (TBD in English Lab.)

Introduction to the research assignment

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