Project Overview

For our First Year Learning Community, we have decided to focus on the topic of spaces for reflection. For ENG 1101’s Project #2, we will consider what kinds of spaces we choose for reflection and find what we want to learn more about to understand more about spaces for reflection. You’ll conduct research and contribute to a class-wide annotated bibliography. For our Project #3, you’ll use the research from Project #2 to produce a text like one you or your classmates discovered through research–but more on Project #3 later. You’ll also work on a project for ARCH 1101 about spaces for reflection, which will use the architecture skills you’re developing this semester–more on this from Prof. Duddy a bit later in the semester.

Project #2 is a research project, which means that you’ll use information you discover through your own experience as well as information from sources you find through our library and the internet to learn more about your topic. In this project, you will be writing something called an annotated bibliography. You might be familiar with a bibliography, which is a list of the information that tells other people what sources you used (articles, interviews, etc…). An annotated bibliography is useful when researching because in addition to including a list of sources, it also includes a summary of each source as well as other important notes.  Annotated bibliographies are helpful tools for research because they help us keep track of multiple sources and ideas so we can use them later in larger projects. They also help us get a broad understanding of the topic or question we are researching, and help us share that information with our collaborators (in this case, your classmates). Here is a useful site explaining what an annotated bibliography is and how to create one.

This is not a traditional research essay.  It does not begin with a thesis. Real research requires us to ask questions that we don’t already have the answers to. Doing research to support a position you already have is a persuasive essay, but more often we don’t already know the end-goal, so we do inquiry-based research in which we develop questions and follow what interests us to learn more and answer our questions.

Students throughout ENG 1101 at City Tech are working on similar projects, to develop reflective annotated bibliographies. That means, for each of your sources, you will write entries that include the citation, plus a summary of what the author said, how they said it, why they said it, and who you think they want to read their writing, as well as your reactions to and reflections about the source. We’ll work on this together so you get comfortable working this way.

Brief Project Outline

Your Project #2 reflective annotated bibliography will include:

  • An introduction
  • An entry for each of the FOUR SOURCES. Each entry will include
    • the MLA bibliographic entry
    •  a summary
    • a reflection
    • an analysis of the writing
    • important quotations
  • a conclusion.

Reflective Annotated Bibliography Details

Here is a much more detailed version of that outline. It’s a lot to absorb, so take your time working through it, and read it more than once:

  • An introduction in which you
    • Introduce your question.
    • Explain how or why you got interested in your question.
    • Explain what you expect to find in your research (a hypothesis).
    • Write this in paragraph format (1-3 paragraphs, approximately 300 words)
  • FOUR sources. Each of these four sources will need to be a different genre. That is, you can’t have four magazine articles or four YouTube videos. Examples of genres and media you might include are: newspaper articles, TED Talks, podcasts, personal essays, documentaries, magazine articles, scholarly articles, museum websites, interviews, video, songs, etc.
  • For each source, a bibliographic entry (also called a citation):
    • gives the publication information, author, date, title, etc.
    • You should use MLA style to format these citations, and they should be listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. 
    • You can find more on how to do MLA citations at this Purdue OWL link and throughout the Purdue OWL site. You can also learn more about citations from City Tech’s library site, including how to format MLA citations.
    • You can also use Purdue OWL, or a site like Easy Bib, to do your citations.
    • The City Tech Writing Center can also help you with citations. Send an email requesting an appointment to
    • Here’s an example of a citation:

Fitzgerald, Jill. “Research on Revision in Writing” Review of Educational Research. 57.4 (Winter 1987): 481-506. 

  • Following each bibliographic entry, a corresponding annotation (approximately 300-400 words, approximately 3 paragraphs) which includes 
    • a summary of the source’s content (approximately one paragraph). This will be useful for remembering what you read, and to let others know what it’s about if they want to learn more from that source. The summary should convey what the author states in the article and not your opinions (those come later). Write what you think the main point is, but also what you think the most important points are (these aren’t always the same.) This is also a good place to note what data, facts, and evidence the author uses to support their claims, and how they use this evidence to arrive at their conclusions.
    • your reflection on that source (approximately 1 paragraph), which includes your opinion of what you’ve read. This part is perhaps the most important part, so take your time here! This is where you respond to the text you’ve read. Here are some questions you might consider answering in your reflection:
      • Do you agree or disagree with the text? Why or why not? Be specific! You can quote the text here.
      • What questions do you have about what the text is saying? What don’t you understand?
      • What other information do you need to look up to better understand this article?
      • If you could say something to this author, what would you say?
      • What does this document tell you about your research question?
    • a brief analysis of the author’s writing style (approximately one paragraph). For example:
      • what is the tone?
      • What is the author’s intended audience and purpose (reason for writing)?
      • what genre is the source? Does the choice of genre make sense for the intended audience and for what the author wants to accomplish?
      • what are the author’s credentials? Why do you think the author and this content is credible?
      • How do you feel about the author’s writing style?
    • 1-2 important quotations that you might want to use later– these won’t contribute to the word count for each entry.
    • 3-5 keywords or tags that help someone else understand what the source is about. Some sources (scholarly articles, for example), will include keywords.
  • A conclusion (approximately 300-400 words), in which you
    • summarize what you learned about spaces for reflection
    • explain what surprised you and how your thinking on your question deepened or changed
    • explain why you think what you learned is important
    • identify who needs to hear about it–and be specific! This will help you get started for Project #3!
  • Although everyone in our class will be working on the same topic, spaces for reflection, you will develop a narrower focus as you develop a question for your research. You might want to look at a particular kind of space (eg. parks, monuments, private spaces), or understand these spaces from a particular field of study (eg. health, psychology, economics, etc), or learn about particular materials for these spaces.
  • This project will end up being approximately 1800- 2300 words. You’ll be surprised how you can write that much without padding or stretching or struggling!

Where we’ll work:

This project aims to generate a shared bibliography for everyone in the class to use as a resource. We’ll pre-write and draft our work on our OpenLab site, both in discussions and in posts, finalize the reflective annotated bibliography in a post, and write a reflection (instructions to follow) about the project in a private post on our OpenLab site. The goal is to collate everyone’s contributions into one shared bibliography.

What’s due when?

We’ll have discussions and posts due according to instructions in the weekly agendas.

The final draft of Project #2 will be due on 11/18/20 (Extended so we can work further on finding resources, using library databases, and compiling the annotated bibliography with the introduction and conclusion).

What you’ll be graded on:

  • Content: Is it readable and informative? Does it teach us about the topic?
  • Research: Did you look for sources that don’t just agree with what you thought you would find? Were you open to being surprised and contradicted? Did you look further than the first three hits on Google?
  • Genre: Remember that your four sources must be different genres.
  • Presentation: Can someone else understand what you’ve written? Did you use formatting to help a reader make sense of your writing?
  • Citation: If you quote something in your introduction or conclusion that’s from any of your sources or one of our readings, did you cite it?