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205.2 Annotated Collection

Project II is designed to move us gradually toward Project III, the extended research project. Think of Project II as a reading-intensive warm-up to drafting the researched argument that caps the course.  While reading a variety of sources gathered from Bird Library, the online databases provided by the library, and elsewhere, you will engage for several weeks in cycles of collection and annotation.  These are the methods of working with texts emphasized in this course: collect resources, read them, annotate them.  Collect more sources, read them, annotate them.  Optimally, you will follow traces and associations from text to text, picking something up, that is, because it was cited in another text or because it elaborates a related concept. Some sources will be clearly valuable and significant to you; others, perhaps, will seem less rich or interesting.  You decide.

The project, then, requires a distributed rhythm of engagement in this process. It is rather like a drawn out annotated bibliography, but it will prove more useful, ultimately, because it will be searchable and interconnected with the entries posted by others.  For this process to be especially useful to you, you should think of it as responding to two, co-existing forces in research-based writing: 1) note-keeping and 2) exploring the limits and outer edges of your research project.  Note-keeping simply means that you should be writing while you are reading, in the margins of books (unless they're library books!), on paper, or in other note-managing systems such as Notefish, Zotero, or the course wiki we're using to organize our research for the course.  Exploring the outer edges of your project means that you will evaluate sources and decide whether they fit and how they fit, given your central research questions and related lines of inquiry you are beginning to explore. During the early stages of collecting and reading, you should be especially open to sources that beckon you, sources that you find compelling for any number of reasons.  This exploratory, inquisitive approach (a wandering method) is much more available to you at the outset than it is later in the process, after you have committed to working with certain sources in the tail end of the semester.

You should login to the wiki as soon as possible to get familiar with the layout and navigation.  You should also begin thinking about possible topics to focus your research and also start looking into various databases for initial leads on materials. You are urged to work with a range of materials: scholarly articles (via Bird's subscription databases), online articles, and a book-length work. Over the next four weeks, you will produce all of your annotations in our course wiki.  As you develop pages, you must create a link to each annotations page on the front page of the wiki. You will find some explanation of this and an example in Wet Paint.

In total, you will post a minimum of five entries (i.e., pages) between now and Friday, March 13.  Use the following intermittent deadlines to guide your progress:
#1 before Fri., Feb. 20
#2 before Fri., Feb. 27
#3 before Fri., Mar. 6
#4, #5 before Fri., Mar. 13

Certainly you are welcome to post early and to post more entries than are required.  Posting additional entries will improve your overall prospects for success with this particular course project.

Each annotation must be more than 400 words in total length.  It must include the following items:
I. The named author(s) and title.
II. A correctly formatted MLA Works Cited entry for the source.
III. A brief summary of the source with an explicit mention of how the source contributes something worthwhile to your emerging research question(s).
IV. At least two meaning-rich quotations from the reading, including the page numbers formatted according to MLA Style.
V. A list of references used in the source.
VI. A list of 5-10 keywords or phrases useful for indexing the source.
An example is posted in Wet Paint.

Project II will be assessed largely on the basis of steady, even progress toward completion.  A's and B's will be awarded for work that meets all deadlines and completes all parts of the annotation form while also working with high-quality research materials (scholarly resources, such as articles and monographs).  C's and D's will be awarded for work that is missing or that fails to meet deadlines, that leaves empty parts of the annotation form, or that works with low-quality research materials. 

WC Incentive
Include evidence of an hour-long consulting session at the Writing Center in your Invention Portfolio to earn extra credit valued at one grading increment (i.e., a 'B' becomes a 'B+', a 'C-' becomes a 'C', and so on).

Evaluation Criteria

[1] Did the writer produce five or more annotations while keeping with the stated criteria for each annotation?
[2] Did the writer utilize the wiki and produce the pages to include links from the front page of the wiki?
[3] Did the annotations include summaries that capture the main point of the source?
[4] Did the collection reflect a diverse range of source types (scholarly articles(2), online materials(2), and paper-bound book-length works(1))?
[5] Did the writer select quotations and assign keywords in each annotation?
[6] Did the writer edit for grammar, style, and usage effectively?
[7] Did the writer cite texts appropriately and properly using MLA citation format?

Contact Information

Derek Mueller
Office: HBC 002
Spring '09 office hours: Mon., 9-10 a.m.
Phone: (315) 708-3940


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