Lesson 9

****Just a head’s up: Next week you have a research interview due. If you need to schedule it now so that you meet that deadline, I recommend doing so.

 The Goal:

This week we will concentrate on the skills of finding and reading scholarly sources for your research paper. As a university student, you will have to learn how to go beyond Google search for information. This includes using libraries, academic search engines, and real life sources like interviews and lectures.

What to Read:

Googlepedia: turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills‘ by Randall McClure,  Writing Spaces, Vol. 2.

*The Omnivore’s Dilemma  by Michael Pollan: Chapter 18-19 (56 page)

Owl Purdue’s “Annotated Bibliography


Writing Exercise:

You have two writing exercises this week, a research sample and an annotated bibliography. Both are for your research paper.

Your first writing exercise is three Research Samples, three  well-annotated research articles. Annotations can include highlighted passages, “sticky’ notes, inserted    comments, and any other means you find to annotate the text. Your notes and comments should show that you are reading and thinking about what the author says. Insubstantial annotations will be graded as such. Also, these must be scholarly academic articles that have been published in academic journals.

Begin searching for articles about your topic. It’s best if you have an open mind about your topic rather than coming to the table with a fully formed idea. You should read as many as you can and then choose 3 to annotate. If you’re using reliable academic search engines, most of the articles you find will be in PDF format. You may find other formats, but if you do, the best idea is to convert the files into PDF. Use Adobe’s free PDF conversion service if you’d like. There are also many many other ways to convert things to a PDF. If you run into trouble, Google or YouTube the phrase “convert to PDF.’

Once you’ve annotated your articles, save them and upload to Blackboard (it’s okay to make multiple attempts/submissions when uploading so all three can be uploaded)

You may want to download Adobe Reader X if you haven’t already (it’s free) and then learn how to annotate and markup your research documents. For more video tutorials on how to use Adobe Reader X to makes notes in a PDF, try using the search term “Adobe Reader X’ in YouTube (don’t forget the quotation marks), and you should come up with a whole host of instructional videos.

If you are an advanced user of internet and computer tools, and you know that you’ll be doing a good deal of research as an undergraduate, you may want to learn how to use Mendeley.

You could also think about printing the article, annotating by hand, and then scanning the document back into your computer (although that seems complicated).

Once you have submitted source samples, it’s time to start creating an annotated bibliography. Make sure you read the Purdue OWL entry on Annotated Bibliographies (linked above) and create an Annotated Bibliography with at least 5 entries. These sources should reflect the research you’re doing on your chosen topic. They can include the three research samples. Remember that you don’t HAVE to use these sources in your paper. Some of the research you do will eventually be thrown out because you’ve shifted focus or because the source isn’t as good as others you eventually find. However, keeping a bibliography will make your final Works Cited page much easier.   It’s also a great way to keep track of quotes you want to use and good ideas you have while reading. Each annotation should be 3-5 sentences, don’t be exhaustive but summarize the article and how it might be useful to your final essay.

Then, create a properly formatted Annotated Bibliography with at least 5 entries.


Should we eat animals? Why or why not? How is the argument for or against hunting more important in Alaska (“we’ve always done it” or “it’s different here” are starting points, but try to critically back up your ideas).

 Submission Checklist:

  • Annotated Bibliography (WA6) (20 points).
  • Research Sample (WA7) (20 points). Remember: THREE.
  • Discussion contribution (30 points).