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Class Plan -- Unit Three, Day 31

Assignment for Day 32

Reading - Reading in PHG on Source Evaluation. Research Continue adding to your research and to your annotated bibliography. By Wednesday of next week, your bibliography should include at least 8 entries, including no more than three sources from the course packet and/or the library reserve packet. Remember that your Annotated Bibliography should represent a variety of positions on your issue.

Writing -
  1. Continue researching your issue.
  2. Begin drafting your annotated bibliography by doing entries (in alphabetical order in a computer file) for all of the sources you have found so far. (Remember that you have detailed guidelines to help you write your entries.)


Daily - Briefly describe the steps you take when you have to do research. What assignments have you had in the past that required research? What is the best source of information you have ever found in your past research? Have you used Morgan Library? If so, what have your experiences been like?

Organize research groups - You will want to come in to class with a list of research groups arranged by issue. (These should be groups of 2-4; groups of more than 4 are a little hard to handle.) [Perhaps put this list on an OH transparency before class.] Have students get into these groups and quickly (10 minutes or less) sign up for a research conference slot (45 minutes - an hour per group) that is convenient for the whole group. Remind students that class is cancelled next time, but that they will need to come to this research conference in the library instead. Tell them where you will meet them. [I usually tell them I'll be waiting just inside the front doors, where the study tables are, but that the group will be heading directly over to the computer area of the library.]

Discuss strategies for conducting and organizing research - List student responses (particularly regarding useful research methods) on the board. Move the discussion into ideas about how to deal with some of the difficulties of doing research in Morgan library post-flood (particularly the fact that most bound periodicals were destroyed, along with full collections of books in certain disciplines): local libraries like UW, UNC, and CU-Boulder (and how to search them from your own computer through the library home page), full text databases (many of which your students have dabbled with already in earlier assignments), the Internet [be sure to discuss some of the dangers of doing Internet research--commercial sites, problem of authorship, etc.], Uncover, and [STRESS THIS ONE] Interlibrary Loan, which is currently very quick. Students can usually get articles via ILL within a week.

Discuss some of the materials in their research packet in more depth, making mention of the information about the library which is included, and emphasizing the fact that they will need to continue using their search log and recording the necessary bibliographic information on their sources. I always take this opportunity to mention the importance of being organized when you research, so that you can retrace your steps if you need to get back to the source of one of the articles you found, or if you are wanting to return later to a particularly useful source of information.

Discuss Annotated Bibliography - Move from the last discussion by explaining that the annotated bibliography is one way to collect your sources, one which allows you to see the different ways that they relate to your position on your topic and to each other. Hand out and walk through the Annotated Bibliography Guidelines (see Appendix) and the sample entry therein, then hand out the sample Annotated Bibliography. [AS YOU WALK THROUGH THE CITATION PART OF THE GUIDELINES, YOU MIGHT WANT TO REFER YOUR STUDENTS TO THE SECTION IN PHG WHERE THEY CAN FIND EXAMPLES OF CORRECT MLA WORKS CITED FORMAT (PP. 560-6, 588-9).] Have students read this bibliography silently, identifying as many different positions as they can. Ask students if they get a good idea of the range of positions this writer was going for in her research. Tell them that they will need to represent a variety of positions in their own research. Why is it important to have this variety? [If they don't, they are at risk of making an argument that seems not to be debatable or at least not well researched, and they will have trouble dealing with opposing viewpoints in their Arguing Essays.] Finally, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this sample, given the guidelines we just read? [You might want to point out (if your students don't first) that the MLA format is not always correct, particularly since some of these sources are full-text articles from online databases. They require a more complex format than this student has used.]

Give assignment for next two classes - Be sure that any student questions about research or the Annotated Bibliography assignment are explained before you send them off to do this assignment.