Investigation and Explanation: Inquiring Further

Overview.  In the past few weeks, we’ve seen how Michael Pollan inquires into important questions.  Also we’ve been keeping a list of questions we’d like to find answers to.  In this assignment, you’ll work with a group to find answers to one of those questions.  This assignment asks you to investigate by researching and writing an annotated bibliography.  In the end, you will explain to the class what you found.
Purpose. The main purpose of your annotated bibliography is to keep track of and share your research with your group; the secondary purpose is to demonstrate your research skills as well as your ability to closely and critically read the sources you find.  The purpose of your group’s explanation is to synthesize your research for the rest of the class so that we may benefit from your inquiry.

Audience.   You’ll write your three bibliography entries for your group, for your peers, and for your instructor.  You and your group will write a collaborative explanation to your peers. 

Subject. Your group will focus on one question-at-issue that is related in some way to the Michael Pollan readings from our first unit.  We have been working on generating questions and we will work in class to choose manageable questions.

Author. In your annotated bibliography entries, present yourself as someone who has selected sources carefully, read them closely and evaluated them critically.  In your group explanation, you should present yourselves as knowledgeable and engaged (though it’s likely you won’t have all the answers).

Strategies. To achieve your purposes with your audiences, consider these strategies:

Annotated Bibliography Format: Each of your sources needs an MLA bibliographic entry, followed by an annotation that includes: academic summary of the source, an evaluation and response.  Please staple each entry to a print-out or photocopy of the source itself.  Please be sure your name is on each of your entries.

Explanation Format: Your explanation needs to include the following:

Post your group’s explanation to the discussion forum on the Writing Studio and print out a copy to turn in.

Submission: Use a folder to turn in your annotations and sources along with other materials specified in class.

Due: Week 9

Worth: 15% of your course grade, broken down as follows:

Grading Criteria.
[Note to GTAs: Develop criteria for grading this assignment and add it to your assignment sheet. Samples and options will be discussed in TART and E607.]