Complete AB for English Course

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Argumentative Essay Source Summary

Topic/Focus: Finding and Analyzing Library Sources

Length: 600 words maximum

Materials: PC or Mac; Word processing software (MS Word, Google Docs, iWork Pages, Open Office)


This assignment is another in the series to prepare you for your documented argument paper. In class, we

have learned about three modes of persuasive argumentation: ethos, pathos, and logos. Conducting

research and incorporating evidence into your argument will strengthen all three modes of persuasion.

The purpose of this assignment is to apply critical thinking skills to the analysis of potential sources for your

paper. Using your approved topic and research question as a starting point, utilize library resources to find

sources. Submit an MLA style annotated bibliography listing your four required sources for Essay 4.You will

likely encounter sources that appear credible and useful at first, but which don’t hold up under closer

scrutiny. At this stage, it is acceptable to document sources which you will ultimately decide not to include

in your final paper.

Your task is to demonstrate why each source is (or is not) useful.

You must find:

  • One scholarly journal article, using a Library database.
  • Your article must be at least 2 pages long and cannot be editorials, letters to the editor, opinion
  • columns, or book reviews.

  • One news magazine or newspaper article, using a Library database.
  • Your article must be at least 2 pages long and cannot be editorials, letters to the editor, opinion
  • columns, or book reviews.

  • One source addressing counterarguments to your main claim/thesis.
  • This source can be an article, video, report, topic overview, website (if you haven’t already
  • included one), or statistics of at least 2 pages in length.

    You should use one or more of the following databases to conduct your library research:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • America’s NewsBank
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
  • Opposing Points of View
  • Points of View Resource Center
  • Issues and Controversies
  • 1



    For each source, write an entry of 5-10 sentences that contains the following:

  • Search Strategy
  • Explain how you searched for the source. What specific strategies did you use from our library
  • instruction or the online library research lesson to find this source? What database did you choose

    and why was this the best choice for your claim? What challenges, if any, did you face while finding

    this source? How did you troubleshoot those?

  • Citation in proper MLA format
  • Use the library’s MLA Documentation guide, linked in the MLA Documentation: Citing Sources and
  • Avoiding Plagiarism lesson in Unit 5 of the course, your course textbook, and the Purdue OWL to

    ensure your citations follow MLA documentation faithfully.

  • Annotation that includes answers to all of the following questions. The entire annotation must
  • be written in your own words. It may not be copied from the abstract or any other description,

    and it may not include direct quotations from the publication itself.

  • Summary & Purpose: What are the main ideas of the source? Is the main purpose of the source to
  • contribute new knowledge about the topic or to try to persuade an audience to believe or to do

    something about the topic?

  • Methods Used to Collect Evidence & Reliability of Evidence: Is it clear from the source what
  • methods were used to gather the evidence used in the source? Does the source convince you that

    its evidence is reliable? Why or why not?

  • Applicability: Why is this source helpful to your research? How will you use it in your paper? Are
  • there any limitations to its usefulness for your paper? Can you overcome these limitations? How?

  • Authority and Aim: Is the source written by someone who has the expertise to write on the topic?
  • List the credentials of the author(s). Currency: Is the source up-to-date for your topic? Bias: What

    biases if any exist in the source?

    Example Journal Article Annotation

    Search Strategy: I used musicians and politics as my keywords in several recommended databases. First, I

    used Academic Search Complete, as I felt it would provide me with the most results. Just putting in my

    keywords though, left me with so many results it was difficult to determine what was a good source. So, I

    started narrowing down my search. Because of my particular topic, I limited my search to articles published



    within the last 10 years. To find scholarly articles, I limited my results to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals. I

    limited my search to periodicals to find non-scholarly articles.


    Street, John, Seth Hague, and Heather Savigny. “Playing to the Crowd: The Role

    of Music and Musicians in Political Participation.” The British Journal of Politics and International

    Relations. 10.2 (2013), 269-285. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 July. 2015.

    Annotation: The first half of this article includes a summary of previous articles and books written about

    the meeting of music and politics. The easy-to-understand summary is broken down into the three areas –

    organization, legitimation and performance – that one must study to understand how and why musicians

    become political activists. It also attempts to define “participation” by asking if it requires action and if

    listening to music is an action. The article also includes studies of Rock Against Racism and Jubilee 2000,

    and looks at those politically charged concerts in terms of organization, legitimation and performance. I

    was hoping for more from this article than it gave me. I was looking for reasons why musicians participate

    in such events, but instead found how to study those musicians and events. The bibliography, which

    includes music, political and economic sources, is extensive. The authors also interviewed several

    individuals involved in the music industry and/or major musical events such as Rock Against Racism. These

    first-hand accounts, especially, make the article very reliable. Additionally, the authors conclude that the

    music itself is part of the political process; it is the sounds and the lyrics that affect people. Musicians use

    their sound as a backdrop to their message. This article gave me the knowledge to work with such

    questions in regards to particular musicians and events, especially concerts like Vote For Change that

    include a range of musical styles. The article’s three authors are all from the School of Political, Social and

    International Studies at the University of East Anglia. This qualifies them to write on the subject. I had to

    take into account that they are from England, and that British views on politics and music, as well as the

    events described in the article, may differ from those in the United States. The article, written in 2013, is

    very current.

    Note: this is a lengthy annotation. Your four annotations need only be 5-10 sentences long in total.

    Rubric (the following rubric will be used to assess your work)



    Levels of Achievement

    Novice Intermediate Advanced



    (10 pts)

    Student’s choice of sources

    is not informative or

    persuasive. Student has not

    chosen a source from one

    of the databases studied in

    class. (0-4 points)

    Student’s choices are from a

    database, though the

    source is not sufficiently

    authoritative or is biased.

    (5-7 points)

    Student chooses relevant

    sources from one of the

    library databases studied in

    class. Student is able to

    explain that choice clearly.

    (8-10 points)




    of Source

    (15 pts)

    Unclear summary of main

    idea and supporting points.

    Writer does not clearly

    explain what studying the

    source taught him or her.

    Unclear evidence and

    development to support

    how the writer will use the

    source. (0-5 points)

    Adequate summary of

    source and supporting

    points. Some explanation of

    what was learned by

    studying the source. Some

    explanation of how the

    writer will use the source in

    the paper. The writer’s use

    of the source seems

    somewhat unclear. (6-10


    Structured, organized, and

    focused summary. Thorough

    explanation of what was

    learned from the source.

    Clear understanding of how

    the source will be used in the

    paper is evident. (11-15




    (10 pts)

    Writer cannot clearly

    explain how he or she

    searched for the source.

    Strategies are not derived

    from the library instruction

    or online research lesson.

    Student did not use the

    library to find research. No

    clear explanation of why

    this was the best choice for

    the thesis/claim is given.

    (0-4 points)

    Some explanation of how

    student searched for the

    source is present. Basic

    search strategies from the

    library instruction and

    online lesson are used.

    Student found source on a

    library database. Some

    understanding why this

    choice is a strong choice is

    present. (5-7 points)

    Writer clearly explains how

    he or she found the source.

    Strategies are advanced and

    derived from the library

    instruction and the online

    research lesson. Student

    found the source on a library

    database. Clear

    understanding of why this

    source is a good choice is

    present. (8-10 points)




    (10 pts)

    Errors interfere with the

    writer’s ability to

    communicate purpose;

    significant errors; errors in

    format are visible. (0-4


    Occasional errors do not

    interfere with writer’s ability

    to communicate purpose;

    appropriate format. (5-7


    Minimal to no errors. Writing

    is clear, polished, and

    mechanically correct. Errors

    are not distracting. (8-10


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