The Wires portrayal of Baltimore

Now that you’ve chosen a topic and explored the library, compile your research in an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is simply a list of sources with notes detailing each source. The sources you locate for this assignment will be the ones you draw on for the next assignment: an editorial intended for a non-academic audience. Your sources should be credible ones that help you make your own arguments authoritatively. In other words, don’t count on using the first few websites that a Google or a database search turns up. Or Wikipedia. Exercise rhetorical strategy in choosing your source.

Objective: The goals of this assignment are for you to learn more about the topic that you’ve chosen, practice documenting and citing sources, and evaluate the usefulness and credibility of potential sources. It’s also an exercise in critical reading, thinking, and writing (as are most of your assignments this semester).

Format:  Title the bibliography with your topic followed by a colon and the words “An Annotated Bibliography.” Alphabetize but don’t number your entries, and use a consistent documentation style for all entries – either MLA or APA. Please rely on in-class instruction as well as a style guide. Type your work in 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, with 1” margins top and sides. Offer identification in the upper left-hand corner, and staple your work in the upper left-hand corner. While there is no minimum length requirement, this assignment expects 3 or 4 sources with well-written, well-developed annotations. Here’s an example.

Annotations. Each of your bibliographic entries should consist of three separate parts: a summary, a rhetorical analysis, and a statement of rhetorical strategy. Please skip a space or begin a new paragraph for each part, and please label each part per in-class instructions.

In class, we’ll review objective summaries and subjective rhetorical analyses. Please take time to write the summaries and analyses yourselves rather than copying and pasting abstracts into your bibliographies. Doing so would be defeat an important goal of the exercise and would be plagiarism, too. To help you check for mistakes of this nature, review both your work and SafeAssign report.

The statement of rhetorical strategy should be a paragraph in which you explain 1) why you chose this source rather than others, 2) the signal phrase you’ll use to introduce citations from this source into your upcoming editorial (See The Bedford Handbook 55a and b and in-class instruction), and 3) the select words or short phrase you might quote in your upcoming editorial and why.

More on Grades and Due Dates: A paper copy is due in class, at the start of class on 1/31. Also please submit your work via the Submissions link at BlackBoard before the start of class on 1/31, and read your Safe Assignment report there. A revised version of this assignment is due in the end-of-semester portfolio. Assignments are due in class at the start of class. Excepting emergencies or prior arrangements, I do not accept late work.

This first of four informal writing assignment is worth 10% of the course grade. Please keep in mind the syllabus’s acceptable draft policy:

To pass this course, you must turn in an acceptable draft of each of four formal assignments (an acceptable draft meets all expectations of the assignment, as detailed in individual assignment instructions) and a complete portfolio. You must also earn a C or better on each of four formal assignments to pass this course.

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