Investigating a Question-at-issue: Inquiring Further
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen how several authors inquire into a significant question: What should we do about climate change? Also, we’ve started to develop a list of questions-at-issue that we’d to explore. In this assignment, you’ll start by working with a group of classmates to find answers to one of those questions. After discussing and reflecting on your issue in class, you will conduct research and write an annotated bibliography of the best sources you find.
Process: We will form groups of three-four students who are interested in investigating a particular question-at-issue related to climate change. Each group member will be responsible for finding at least five sources that provide information and arguments about that question.
Choose a manageable, significant question which interests your entire group.
Start with what you know (including what you have learned in this course so far). Explore the influences on your opinion, including the knowledge, beliefs, values and experiences you bring to the question.
Determine the different approaches people may take in looking at the issue.
Pose research questions you will need to answer. Divide up the research questions, so your group is sharing responsibility and so you don’t duplicate research.
Look for informative sources as well as opinionated sources.
Research thoughtfully—don’t just take the first five sources you find. Be critical, evaluate your sources, and choose authoritative, credible, current, and relevant ones.
Read closely. Write an academic summary of each source.
Read critically. Provide a thoughtful, thorough evaluation of each source.
Keep track of where and how you found your sources so that others may refer to them as needed, i.e. collect complete citation information and cite sources in MLA style.
Annotated Bibliography: Each member of the group will submit an Introduction and an Annotated Bibliography of the (at least five) sources he or she found.
Purpose: The main purpose of your annotated bibliography is to keep track of and share your research with your group and the class; the secondary purpose is to demonstrate your research skills as well as your ability to closely and critically read the sources you find.
Audience: Yourself, your group members (who are investigating the question with you), your classmates (who may be interested in investigating the question themselves), and your instructor (who will evaluate your research and reading.)
The Annotated Bibliography will consist of the following:
An introduction that presents what you've learned about the issue and includes
the group's question-at-issue,
your focus within that question,
a central claim that presents your answer to your group’s question,
an explanation of how the sources collected on the AB address the question-at-issue,
an explanation of how the sources you collected relate to sources collected by other group members,
an identification of remaining questions or gaps (points of view or stakeholders not presented or missing information) in the group’s research.
For each source you contributed to the group's investigation (at least 5), provide a citation (MLA style) and an annotation. The annotation will be approximately one page long (double-spaced) and include a summary of the source and an evaluation of its credibility, authority, and usefulness to your group's investigation.
MLA style: Each of your sources needs an MLA citation, followed by an annotation. Double-space each entry and organize them alphabetically, by the author or first word of each citation.
Critical Intro: Center the question-at-issue at the top as the title. Double-space the introduction. The introduction should be at least 750 words.
Post to the Writing Studio. [Include directions for doing so here.]
To Submit: [Give directions for how to submit the assignment, indicating how the document and the sources will be submitted--hard copy and/or electronically.]
Worth: 15% of semester grade or 150 points
Due: ___, October ___, at the beginning of class.
Annotated Bibliography Evaluation Rubric
Introduction: Includes all elements listed on assignment toaccurately represent and explain the issue, based on close and critical reading of group's sources.
The introduction shows you have a general understanding of the issue but need a better sense of it because elements are incompletely developed.
After reading your introduction, readers are not convinced that you understand the issue or have investigated it well because of missing or significantly undeveloped elements.
No introduction is present.
Bibliography: Presents sources from library databases and other appropriate venues that provide enough relevant information about and various perspectives on the question-at-issue to develop an informed position.
The bibliography presents sources that provide information and opinions on the question-at-issue but needs more perspectives, perhaps from other databases or resources, to develop an informed position.
The bibliography does not have enough sources to develop an informed position because it lacks key sources of information, does not represent key perspectives, and/or is comprised of lower-quality sources.
No bibliography present, or the sources indicated are inappropriate for an academic audience.
Annotations: demonstrate critical reading accurately & objectively summarizing and effectively evaluating each source's credibility, authority, and usefulness to project.
Annotations do a good job of summarizing but need to develop evaluations more.
Annotations have weak summaries and/or do not provide support for source evaluations. OR summaries may be adequate but evaluations are missing.
Citations: follow MLA style
Minor citations errors.
Citations not follow MLA style.
Conventions & Style: AB correctly formatted: double-spaced; entries listed alphabetically, aligned left, except hanging indent after first line of citation. Few editing errors: grammar, punctuation, spelling.
Minor editing errors are present in the text.
In general, the format is followed, but one requirement is overlooked.
Repeated, distracting editing errors in the text.
The bibliography has multiple format errors.
Serious editing errors or style interfere with readability. Bib. does not follow format.