Semester Overview of due_dates Category

There is room for one oral presentation today.

Presenter: Chelsea Ciolli

Due on the class period after your oral presentation.

Watch the video of your performance; use it, along with what you learned from your peers, to assess your strengths and to identify strategies for improvement.

Write an informal reflection (about 500 words) that demonstrates what you have learned from the oral presentation assignment.

I've changed this day -- there are now four total presentations.

  1. Lauren McKee
If you have not signed up for a conference to discuss Paper 3, I will put your name into one of the available slots. 

If you would like to swap with another student, please contact the student directly.
Due Today:

Paper 3 Draft

Minimum 6 pages. (The revision will be 8-10 pages.)

Upload to
Before you start churning out paragraphs, I want us both to be sure that you have chosen a thesis for Paper 3 that you can adequately support with credible academic evidence.

The last few research assignments were designed to get you started on this exercise.  You have already annotated at least some of your sources, either as reflection papers for the Rereading America selections, or marginal notes for the academic article printouts.

I will assess your ability to identify, assess, and cite information from credible sources, to help your progress on Paper 3.  You do not have to commit to using exactly these sources in your paper, and once you submit an acceptable annotated bibliography, you won't need to re-submit it each time your list of sources changes.

Upload both parts in a single word processor document, to the slot on

1) Updated Thesis Statement

Include the most recent version of your thesis statement. Name the author(s) whose selection in Rereading America inspire(s) your thesis.
  • I'll need your thesis in order to be able to provide you with the most helpful feedback on the quality and usefulness of your sources.
  • Remember that I've asked you to make a claim about an issue that arises directly from something you read in Rereading America, so a strong and clear thesis will be about a specific essay (rather than about "people" or "America" or any other general subject).

2) Annotated Bibliography

  • Include five credible sources (including at least two recent -- since 2005 -- academic articles).
  • For each source, include
    • A full MLA Works Cited entry (see SF Writer for details)
    • A short paragraph assessing the value of the source. (Questions you may consider: what are the author's credentials? was the source written by experts in the subject, for other experts? does the source carefully cite outside sources for every statistic or claim, and are those sources credible sources? )
    • A short paragraph, including one or more quotations, that summarizes the content you plan to use in your paper. (You don't have to know exactly what quotes you will use, or how you plan to integrate the quotes; just give me an idea of what passages will help you make your own original argument.)

This pre-writing portfolio is very different from the others we've done -- we're not yet ready to start talking about a thesis.  We're still looking at sources at this stage.

Your goal for this assignment is to demonstrate that you can
  • evaluate the sources you find online
  • locate and analyze an academic article that you find though the Reeves webs site.
Bring a printout to class.

Quick overview: I'm asking you to name a research topic, find and briefly analyze two online sources, find and analyze in greater depth one academic article, and supply a complete Works Cited list for those three sources. 

Details in a bit... but first, a brief... 


·         Textbooks are written for beginners.

·         Academic articles serve a different purpose.

·         The length, depth, vocabulary, and organization/format of an academic article are all part of what makes the article valuable to experts. (Putting the needs of beginners first would damage the authority of the source.)

Like Papers 1 and 2, the Research Paper (Paper 3) asks you to take and defend a position that is:
    1. debatable (not obvious)
    2. evaluative (not summative)
    3. analytical (not normative) 
    4. about the readings (not about the general topic of the readings).
Unlike Papers 1 and 2, Paper 3 expects you to go outside the Rereading America textbook, demonstrating your ability to find, evaluate, and incorporate credible sources (including scholarly publications). Today's assignment will ask you to look for some credible sources, starting with online sources, and finishing with a detailed analysis of an academic article.    

The Assignment:
  1. Identify a research topic. ("Gender" is too broad.  "Gender in the workplace," "Gender in the factory workplace" and "Gender in the U.S. auto industry" are progressively more precise.)  Write your topic on a cover page.
  2. Conduct an internet search for your topic, using any method you wish. 
    1. Print out two good sources for a research paper on your chosen topic.
    2. Identify the author, date, and publisher of each source. (Circle or highlight this information in the printout.)
    3. On the printout, write down reasons why you feel this source is "good."  
      1. What is the purpose of the site? (How do you know?)
      2. Can you trust this site? (Can you trust what a posting on the "Mushroom Hater's Forum" has to say about mushrooms? What about a government document that reports statistics on mushroom harvests? What about a magazine article that describes a new treatment for a mushroom disease?) 
  3. Conduct a library database search for your chosen topic, using the steps we went over in class Monday. (At the bottom of this page I've posted a review.
    1. Find one, recent, academic article, and print out the full text.
    2. all the information I ask for in the next few steps, there's a good chance that the article you've found is not an academic article.  It might be an interview, a personal essay, a book review, or almost anything else.
    3. Draw a box around the author's thesis.
    4. Underline the main idea of each paragraph.
    5. In the body of the paper, locate, circle, and number the first five citations. (For example, if the author cites Haydar, Morgan, a US Census report, a Lady Gaga video, and Kilbourne, circle each reference and number them one through five.)
    6. In the Works Cited or References section, locate, circle, and number the matching bibliographical entries (that is, find where the author has listed the full information for Haydar's source, and write a "1" in the margin, and do the same for each of the other sources).
    7. evidence that the author uses to support his or her thesis.
  4. On your cover page, provide an MLA-style Works Cited list for the three sources.  Reminder:   See this full sample MLA style Works Cited page, and details on citing electronic sources in MLA style.

Steps for Finding a Peer Reviewed Article

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