Argumentative Research Paper and the Annotated Bibliography

Assignment for the

Argumentative Research Paper and the Annotated Bibliography

In this research paper assignment, you will argue for or against an issue raised in one of the

prompts below, supporting your position with evidence you obtain from your own interpretation

of the reading selection (s) as such reading(s) relate to the issue and from five researched


An Annotated Bibliography pairs with this paper, which will include annotated entries for each

of your five research sources. In an annotation you will provide the correct MLA Works Cited

entry and an annotation or summary of the source. More information is provided later in this

assignment sheet on completing the Annotated Bibliography. You will want to print out page 6

of this assignment that shows the many due dates of the component assignments with this

Research Paper Assignment (including the Annotated Bibliography). But first, let us review in

detail the Researched Essay assignment.

Research paper

Word Count: 1750 minimum (or about 5 pages excluding a Works Cited page)

Final Draft is due no later than 11:00 PM November 22

This paper has two components:

1. Argumentative: develop your stance on the issue in the prompt;

2. Research: refer to a minimum of five acceptable outside research sources (not

including the literary sources or primary literary texts) to give the history of and

support for or refutation of your stance on your argument. A minimum of three of the

outside research sources must be taken from the HCC Library Databases; the other

research sources must be from acceptable sources.

You will need to include direct quotations and paraphrasing from your five acceptable

research sources (three of which must be from the HCC Library databases) and cite these

correctly in MLA 8th edition format. Absent or incorrect citations will severely affect your grade

on this researched essay assignment.

Go beyond simple arguments and research to explore the issue you choose from an original,

insightful angle. Attempt to achieve complexity and boost your ethos by addressing other

perspectives on your issue, employing either a counter argument or a refutation.

Here are the prompts (topics) from which you are to choose one to research, finding a minimum

of three articles from HCC Library online databases, and then two other acceptable sources


which may or may not be from the databases, to use in writing your Annotated Bibliography and

Research Paper (Please note, your research sources do not include the literary works



1. The one act plays “POOF!” by Lynn Nottage (p. 743) and “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell

(p. 732) deal with the subject of spousal abuse yet in very different ways in different time

periods. For instance, in “Trifles” the audience never sees the wife on stage who was

allegedly abused by the husband; conversely, in the one act play “POOF!” the abused

wife is one of the two characters shown on stage. In this topic I ask that you explore the

idea of spousal abuse, and how it is presented in both plays. Some of the questions you

may want to explore are: What are the forms of spousal abuse and how are these explored

on the plays? What is the common theme of these plays? Do you think such a theme is

effectively addressed in both plays? If not, which play more effectively addresses the

theme and why? There is a time difference in the setting of each play; does this difference

in time frame impact the effectiveness of the delivery of the main idea? How have public

opinions about spousal abuse changed over time? What is the role of female camaraderie

in each play, and what role might a support system play in an abused spouse confronting

and dealing with an abusive relationship?


2. The play “Trifles” (p. 732) is based upon a real murder in the early 20th century, and the

actual murder that was reported in a local paper by Susan Glaspell who was the reporter

for the newspaper. Glaspell also wrote the short story “A Jury of Her Peers” about the

actual murder. Research the basis of the play “Trifles” and argue that the play (and

maybe the short story) do or do not adhere to the actual details of the real-life murder;

and if the play strays from the actual details of the murder, argue how and why. Also,

was justice served in the play and/or the trial of Margaret Hossack?


3. The one act play “The Table” is based on the idea that the evidence required for

adjudication of war crimes carried out against the Jewish people during WWII should not

be that the same as for other crimes because the witnesses to the crimes related in “The

Table” cannot recall the incidences similarly; in other words, the residents of the town

terrorized by the Nazis are unable to corroborate the testimony of each other. There are

several ways to approach this topic. One idea is to research war crimes against the

Jewish population in Europe during WWII and how the play “The Table” presents the

nature of and problems with exposing such crimes. Another idea might be to explore the

criminal justice system as it relates to how war crimes are adjudicated or how war

criminals are found and brought to trial or how the rules of evidence play out in our

criminal justice system.


4. Explore the theme evil in literature modern story such as “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

by O’Connor (p. 1007) and/ or “Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been?” (p.

1016) and argue these stories are effective exemplifications of the theme of evil in


mankind. Do you agree that the nature of man is indeed evil? Argue that research

supports or does not support that society today is becoming more violent, evil, and

hateful. You may use Desmond’s article on p. 1011 “From ‘Flannery O’Connor’s Misfit

and the Mystery of Evil’” or the Bandy essay on p. 1008 as one of your five sources if

you write about O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”


5. The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Oates (p. 1016) is

another example of a literary work whose plot and character ideas are based upon a real-

life crime event. Research the real crime event from which the author relied for her

perspective in creating her plot and characters, describe these real-life crime event, and

argue that Oates effectively utilized true events to create her plot and characters. You

may use Moser’s article beginning on page 1030 “The Pied Piper of Tucson: He Cruised

in a Golden Car Looking for the Action” as one of your five sources.


6. As relates the short stories “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and “The

Lottery,” what is the meaning of the “social contract” and how does such a theory relate

to the two short stories? In this topic, you would research information about the meaning

of the social contract theory and how it is or is not exemplified in the two short stories.

You may use one of the arguments either by Brooks (p. 773) or Ehrenfeld (p.775) as one

of your five sources.


7. The concepts upon which Puritanism is based are central to the stories of Nathaniel

Hawthorne. Research Puritanism and argue how these concepts are exemplified in the

short story “The Minister’s Black Veil.” You could also explore Hawthorne’s inspiration

for the short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” and, in particular, the truth to the basis for

the story being an actual event/person.


8. In Eudora Welty’s short story “A Visit of Charity” what is the picture of the care for the elderly in the United States? Is this a reasonable representation of an elderly care

facility? You may want to research the societal framework for the care of the elderly

today, as it has progressed since the establishment social welfare programs such as Social

Security and Medicare, and the economic feasibility and survivability of these programs.

With the “graying of America,” are we positioned as a society to care for the growing

elderly population given the aging of the Baby Boomer Generation? Also, you may want

to consider the impact of the COVID-19 virus on care for the elderly in the United Sates.

(For instance, the added isolation of the elderly in nursing homes and assisted living

communities). Will the Coronavirus change elderly care forever in the United States?


9. There are four short plays by Susan Glaspell in Canvas located in the Week Seven Module (and at this website

h.htm). You may want to explore the life of the playwright and her other works as

presented in Project Gutenberg to see how she develops her characters, plots, and themes

in consideration of the timeframe of her compositions. If you want to consider this topic,

please discuss with me. This would be quite an interesting project which would give you


significant freedom of design. If you are interested in this project, please get in touch

with me because I would be really interested in seeing some research and writing on this


*** 10. Finally, I offer an open topic concerning the genre of poetry even though we have

yet to study this genre in our class. If you are interested in writing about poetry, please

email me. We will discuss some acceptable ideas about which you may want to write.


Once you select a topic, then find five acceptable research sources to use in writing your

argument. Three of your five research sources must come from the HCC Library Databases. The

other two research sources must be taken from acceptable resource sources. Please note: Your

research sources do not include your primary literary sources. You may want to consider

the opposing side of the argument, so one of your sources may need to address the refutation of

your argument. Also, consider perhaps using a biographical source for the author of the literary

piece or pieces about which you are writing, if applicable, or a discussion and application of

which you may include in your paper.

You will be Graded On:


✓ Fulfilling the paper Assignment:

• Have you written an argument addressing your chosen topic,

presenting and effective and engaging thesis statement in the first


• Is there adequate research (minimum of five sources)?

✓ Sources:

• Do you include at least ten direct short quotations correctly cited

from your five sources? Do not use quotes longer than 4 lines.

• Are your five research sources relevant to your argument? Do

you correctly interpret your sources and make good use of them?

• Are your five sources good sources for an academic essay?

• Are at least three of your sources obtained from the HCC Library


✓ Scope and Completeness:

• How well have you argued your points?

• Are your interpretations solid and your arguments well-reasoned

and supported with relevant evidence from credible sources?

• Do you address a counter-argument or alternate interpretation?

• Do you meet the 1750 word minimum? Or five page minimum?

✓ Organization:

• Is your essay’s arrangement logical and purposeful, with a well-

developed thesis and thorough support?

✓ Writing Quality, tone and presentation:

• Is your grammar correct with no major sentence errors?


• Is your writing style clear, compelling and readable?

• Is your essay written in correct MLA format using 8th edition MLA

format for the citation of Works Cited entries?

• Are parenthetical (in text) citations cited correctly?

• Have you achieved a formal and reasonable tone expected in an

academic essay?

Things you need to do before Submitting your Paper

1. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double space. Do not skip an additional

double space between paragraphs;

2. Carefully Proofread and Spell check your paper. Submit your research paper to the tutors

well in advance of the due date of the paper. There will be two Rough Draft Submissions

before you submit the final draft;

3. Include proper MLA Heading with Your Name, My Name, English 1302 and the Date.

4. Include a Header with Your Last Name and the page number on every page.

5. Have a creative and engaging title!!!

6. Upload an electronic copy of your paper in Canvas by the due date. No late papers will

be accepted unless you follow the policies and procedures outlined in the Syllabus. If you

do not upload a copy of your paper in Canvas by the due date, and you have not

contacted me to present a well-documented excuse and to make alternate arrangements

for submission of the assignment, you will receive a grade of zero on the Research Paper.

Please refer below and to your Calendar of Assignments for the Due Dates of the individual

components of your Research Paper, including the Summary of One Source (which we will

discuss next). the Annotated Bibliography, the Outline, the first Rough Draft, the Second Rough

Draft, and the Research Paper. The due date for submission of your Research Paper is no later

than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 22. No late papers will be accepted unless you follow

policies and procedures stipulated in the Syllabus.


Due Dates of the Research Paper & Annotated Bibliography Components: Please see the

Calendar of Assignments for instructions on Submission of the following components-

• Topic Selection Due: You will write about your topic selection in Discussion Five due

no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, October 11;

• Summary of first Source for your Annotated Bibliography (explained below): due no

later than 11:00 PM Sunday, October 18;

• Summary of your Second and Third sources: due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday,

October 25;

• Annotated Bibliography due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 1;

• Preliminary Research Paper Outline and Works Cited page due no later than 11:00

PM Sunday November 1;

• 1st Rough Draft of Research Paper due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 8;

▪ Professor Conferences via Webex Week Eleven prior to 1st Rough Draft Submission


• 2nd Rough Draft of Research Paper due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 15;

▪ Professor Conferences via Webex Week Twelve prior to 2nd Rough Draft Submission


• Research Paper due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 22;

▪ Professor Conferences via Webex Week Thirteen prior to Research Paper Submission


Annotated Bibliography


Summary of One Source

Summaries of Second and Third Sources

Annotated Bibliography Word Count: 1000 Word minimum (or 200 words per

source) in about a total of three to three and a half-typed pages)

Annotated Bibliography Due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 1

Annotating means “marking up.” When you annotate a text, you make notes on the text;

therefore, an Annotated Bibliography is a bibliography with notes. It requires that you

evaluate and synthesize the information from the five research sources you have located

and which you will be using to support (or perhaps refute) the argument you are making

in your paper.

For your Research Paper assignment, you will locate a minimum of five sources in

support of your argument, three of which must come from the HCC Library Databases.

Once you locate the sources you want to use, you can have these sources emailed to

yourself. Read the sources carefully, making marginal notes on the copies of the sources

(I recommend you print out the sources) identifying the author’s thesis and major points,

(and perhaps highlight possible short quotations you may consider using in your paper).

Then write the correct MLA 8th edition citation on the top page of the source. Now you

are ready to write an annotation for each source. Organize your sources alphabetically

because an Annotated Bibliography presents the sources alphabetically.

Each annotation should include:

1. The correct MLA Words Cited entry 2. A summary of the article’s thesis and major points 3. Your evaluation of the source’s thesis and major points 4. Your thought on what the material contributes to your argument 5. Each annotation should be a minimum of 200 words in length or about

¾ of a typed page.

6. Follow the same “Things you need to do before submitting your paper” as for your researched essay above (except for #5 because your

title will be Annotated Bibliography”)

Do not include any quotations in your annotated bibliography. This assignment must be

entirely in your own words. Do not include any source that is not useful to your argument. I

know you will read many more sources than the final ones you decide to use in support of your

argument. And don’t forget to put your annotations in alphabetical order.


You will be Graded On:

✓ Fulfilling Assignment


• Does each annotation provide a summary of the article’s main points, comment on the sources’ usefulness and connect with its

contribution to the development of your argument?

• Is there adequate research (five annotated source minimum)? ✓ Scope and Completeness:

• Does each annotation meet the minimum word count (200 words)?

• Do you include only sources that you will use in your paper?

• Does each annotation address the article’s thesis and major points?

• Does each annotation comment on how the source will be used in your essay?

✓ Organization and Presentation:

• Is each annotation presented in a separate paragraph paired with a correctly formatted MLA citation?

• Is each annotation presented in “hanging paragraph” indentation? That is, are all lines of the annotation other than the first line indented?

• Is the Annotated Bibliography presented with the correct MLA header and heading with the title “Annotated Bibliography” and your Preliminary

Research Paper Title?

✓ Writing Quality and Tone:

• Is your grammar and punctuation free of errors?

• Is your writing clear and readable?

• Is your tone formal and your style engaging?

Remember: If I do not receive the electronic copy of your Annotated Bibliography in

Canvas by the due date, you will receive a grade of zero on the assignment. No late

papers accepted unless you adhere to the policies and procedures stipulated in the



• Your Summary (annotation) of One Source is due later than 11:00 PM Sunday, October 18. This Summary of a Source (one of the five research sources you will use in

your Research Paper) should be a minimum of about ¾ of a page. Remember to include

the correct bibliographic entry at the topic of the summary. There is a Student Sample of

a Summery (annotation) of a Source in Canvas and a copy of one is included below;


• Your Summary (annotation) of your Second and Your Summary (annotation) of Third Sources: due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, October 25;


• Your Annotated Bibliography is due no later than 11:00 PM Sunday, November 1.


Here is a Sample Summary (Annotation of a Source):


Summary of One Source

Bryan, Patricia L. “Stories in Fiction and in Fact: Susan Glaspell’s ‘A Jury of Her Peers’ and the 1901

Murder Trial of Margaret Hossack.” Stanford Law Review, vol. 49, no. 6, 1997, pp. 1293–

1363. JSTOR, HCC Library Database, Date Accessed: 07 March 2019.

Professor Bryan’s article is an effective summary and comparison of Susan Glaspell’s

short story, “A Jury of Her Peers” and the John Hossack murder on which the short story is based.

The article includes a complete analysis of the trial, conviction, release, and retrial of the

Hossack’s wife, Margaret. Despite the defense’s efforts to block testimony regarding the couples’

marital discord, the trial court ultimately sided with the prosecution and allowed the testimony of

several neighbors. It was determined that Margaret Hossack endured years of physical abuse by

Mr. Hossack, yet undeterred by his brutal nature, the community still felt that Mr. Hossack was a

“good” man and held him in high regard. Mrs. Hossack made numerous attempts to reach out to

neighbors for help, but she was repeatedly rejected, chastised, and returned to her husband. She

had no support from friends or community and was left with no other escape than justifiable

homicide. The defense’s narrative was deliberately shaped in a way that was thought to be more

palatable for the all-male jury, and thus the truth was never heard. One-year post-verdict, the

conviction was overturned because of procedural errors by the trial court. The second trial ended

in a hung jury, and Margaret Hossack was never convicted nor acquitted of the crime.

Professor Bryan’s article can be useful to address key issues in my paper: Is justice

possible if public bias prevents an empathetic approach to a complex issue? Her side-by-side

comparison of fact and fiction exposes the far-reaching consequences of the patriarchy’s

continued efforts to oppress women through the exploitation of gender roles and factionalism.


Before you begin your Research, please read over the following information:

Finding and Evaluating Sources (MLA)

Many writing assignments in the humanities require the use of outside sources. Sources can

include information from books, articles, Web sites, videos, and more. The quality of your

project will often depend on the quality of its sources. Therefore, it is important to use the most

reliable, authoritative sources you can find.

Where should I start? Start with the resources in your college library. Libraries can save you

time by weeding out questionable sources and pointing you toward relevant, scholarly ones. In

addition to print collections, college libraries subscribe to a large number of databases that you

can access for free. The information in library databases comes from identifiable and

professionally edited sources, often from experts in the field.

Can’t I just use the Internet? That depends on the quality of the information. Although there is a

vast amount of information on the Internet, it is not always possible to determine where the

information came from, who wrote it, or whether it is completely accurate. Web sources can

provide valuable information, but they require careful evaluation.

Evaluating Internet Sources

As you research, take the time to evaluate each source by assessing its authorship, sponsorship,

purpose, audience, currency, and level of objectivity.


• Who wrote the information? Usually, if a source is trustworthy and reputable, then the

author’s name and qualifications will be prominently displayed.

• You may find that no single person is responsible for the content on a Web site. Instead,

there will be a sponsoring organization, and the site will likely include an “About Us”

section describing the organization’s membership, sponsorship, and purpose.

• Are you reading firsthand information? Primary sources are original documents such as

field research reports, laboratory studies, letters, and diaries. Secondary sources are

commentaries on primary sources. A primary source is not necessarily better than a

secondary source, but it has the advantage of being a firsthand account.

Publisher or Sponsorship

• Who is the publisher or sponsor of the source you are using? Is the source known for its


• Sources generally considered trustworthy include well-respected news outlets and

professional organizations, university and government-sponsored sites, and peer-

reviewed academic journals.


• Open-sources sites, sites that are self-published, and sites that seem extremist or

promotional in nature may be unreliable. If you’re unsure, check the source of the

information and look for documentation.

Purpose and Audience

• Consider why the piece of writing was created: To argue a position? To sell a product?

To inform readers?

• What does the domain name indicate? For example, an .edu extension indicates a

university site, and a .org extension generally indicates a noncommercial organization.

• Who is the intended audience? Other academics? The general public?


• How current is the information? In the humanities, sometimes the most authoritative

works may be older ones. More recent sources may be useful for determining the current

conversation about a topic.


• An author’s overall stance, or perspective, affects the presentation of information and

your reaction to it. Therefore, it is important to read between the lines to understand the

author’s position on an issue. What is the author’s point of view? How opinionated does

he or she seem?

• Does the author or publisher have political leanings or religious views that could affect

the way the material is presented?

• How fairly does the author treat opposing views?

• Does the author’s language show signs of bias? The existence of bias doesn’t prevent you

from using a source, but the author’s bias does affect the presentation of information (and

sometimes a writer may be too biased to be credible).



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