Assignment Goals

Assignment Goals

  1. To learn that research starts with a question.
  2. To gain practice locating and evaluating traditional forms of research (i.e. library and online materials).
  3. To use MLA guidelines to create a works-cited list.
  4. To practice summary and paraphrase.

Project Requirements

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Assignment Goals
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  1. The piece you’ll produce is an annotated bibliography, a type of research writing that gathers a collection of sources on a given topic. It’s not an essay, but rather is a list of sources, formatted in MLA style, with “annotations” to those entries. The annotations summarize the source and offer reflection on the source’s value. There are different types of and uses for annotated bibliographies. Ours is modified for our purposes, so just follow the guidelines here 🙂
  2. Our reading and viewing this semester has provided working knowledgeof the research question driving this project: “How does creative/imaginative play impact us mentally, physically, and/or emotionally?” In essence, we are exploring some of Barry’s major premises, to see what researchers actually have to say about this.
  3. To that end, your job is to find 8 sources. You may use Barry’s book and Benigni’s film, which leaves 8 more to find. The sources can offer insight or the results of a study; they can offer theories on how creativity works and why. What we don’t want are “advice” articles, which might not be of good quality (like “7 Ways to Boost Creativity,” that kind of thing!). Our source finding is more about understanding creativity and imaginative play—and how it impacts us—versus getting a self-help guide. Your sources should include at least one of the following types:
    1. A video (the film can do)
    2. A book (Barry can do)
    3. An article from a major news source
    4. An article from a scholarly journal
  4. An annotated bibliography is formatted as a works-cited list, with 150 word annotations following each entry. This image offers a good example of what formatting looks like in such a piece, but the annotations are shorter than what you might do.
  5. The annotations should summarize the source and as you can see above, offer some insight about who the author is, along with a bit of reflection one what the source helps you understand, given what we’ve been exploring this term. Try to stick to that 150 word ballpark for annotations; it’s a good exercise in being succinct but detailed.
  6. The final piece should be 1,200 words (double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman).
  7. This time, the piece could be called “Annotated Bibliography,” but add a colon (:) then type a subtitle that captures the real topic.
  8. The piece needs to follow MLA 8 guidelines.

Additional Tips

  1. Use your handbook. New MLA is rather easy to learn! But if you rely on EasyBib or your Word software, you will still have to check what it produces against your official handbook, thus wasting a lot of time. Sometimes tech helps us, sometimes it just makes things take longer. Accuracy is part of the goal of the project.
  2. Source quality is really important. You’ll lose points for sources that aren’t credible.
  3. I have the plagiarism detect feature turned on, mostly as a way to help you: we want to summarize, and sometimes paraphrase what we’re learning from a source—but we have to be careful of how to do that.

On Grading and Evaluating Work

The COM Department evaluation criteria for polished, developed work. I’ve added my own comments to explain them further, so I hope they are helpful!



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