Project Proposals & Annotated Bibliographies


  • Remember that proposals are works-in-progress, and together we will shape them as the semester continues
  • We will look at these proposals in class next week and peer review them
  • All proposals must be approved by me to go forward, and I can only do that once you convince me that this is an interesting, viable, useful project (so this proposal is persuasive, you are selling me your ideas)
  • You are more than welcome to discuss your ideas with me prior to submitting your proposal, to get initial feedback
  • You should do a significant amount of researching, brainstorming, revising, discussion before submitting your proposal (become informed about the topic before you write about it)
  • post one proposal per group
  • categorize as “Project Proposals”
  • Title with name of project and group members
  • Include a detailed, specific description of the project you are proposing
  • A rationale for it (why it is important/relevant for this course and for others)
  • Who are the stakeholders? The audience? The purpose?
  • What steps will you need to take throughout the semester to complete the project?
  • What types of research needs to be done?
  • A plan for how you will go about completing the project
  • The role your various group members will play in it, in terms of working collaboratively
  • Methods, tools, and times for communication/collaboration/meetings, etc.
  • What you will learn by doing this project.

Annotated Bibliography

What type of sources do I use?

While I expect that you will consult many, many more sources, you must incorporate a minimum of 6-8 sources (2 per person, depending on whether you are a 3 or 4 person group) in your research project.  Make sure that you use a variety of resources, and try to have sources from the following categories (and use current/up-to-date information when relevant):

  • Recent scholarly books in print: chapters and/or excerpts are acceptable
  • Recent scholarly articles found in online journals through the City Tech (and/or CUNY) Library databases
  • Recent texts (articles, essays, editorials, interviews, etc.) from other non-book print sources (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • Texts (articles, essays, editorials, interviews) from reliable online sources (this means you must know where there information is coming from and if it is accurate/reliable!)
  • Media (advertisements, cartoons, artwork, TV shows, films, music, etc.)
  • Other (ex: fiction, interviews, surveys, etc.)

Make sure to keep track of all bibliographic information as you do your research (citations should be in MLA style). Also, check out the bibliography/references of the sources you use … looking over what sources other researchers have used is a great way to find additional relevant material for your own project.

This site has some helpful information on evaluating print sources:

And here’s one on evaluating WWW sources:

If you are uncertain about the ‚Äúreliability‚ÄĚ of a source, you should consult me, a librarian, or the Learning Center.

What is an Annotated Bibliography and how do I create one?

  • For each of your sources, you should provide the bibliographic information (MLA style) and then a brief summary/evaluation of its usefulness/relevancy for your project (maximum 150 words per source).

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

1.  Make sure your annotated bibliography is single-spaced (including the citations), with a space between each citation and its annotation, and another space between different entries.

2.  The citations should be alphabetized, have hanging indents, and they should be in complete/accurate in MLA format (just like a Works Cited page).

3.¬† Just like for the proposal, here don’t use the 1st or 2nd person.¬† Your annotations should be formal/impersonal.¬† Therefore, avoid statements like ‚ÄúThis source will be useful to my project because … .‚ÄĚ Instead, just state its usefulness directly (without mention of you or your project).

4.  Write in the present tense when describing your sources.

5.¬† Remember that these sources are both informative and critical/evaluative.¬† When you give the summary, present the main idea of the source without getting bogged down with too many specific/technical details about its content (this can be overwhelming for your readers).¬† Similarly, don’t let the summary take up your whole annotation.¬† In addition to just objectively presenting what the source is about, you need to critically evaluate your source (subjectively) as to its usefulness/relevancy, bias, credibility, etc.

6.¬† Therefore, think about the ‚Äúso what?‚ÄĚ question with sources too.¬† Consider how certain sources contribute (are they factual, personal, etc.) to your project.¬† Where do they come from (are they organizations, individual researchers, newspapers, politicians, etc.)?¬†¬† You need to synthesize your¬†findings as much as possible.

7.¬† As with the proposals, make sure you connect your thoughts in the annotations (use connections/transitions … don’t just list choppy/fragmented points/details about the source).¬† Also,¬†make sure you don’t simply tack on at the end statements addressing the different points I ask¬†you to think about (usefulness, bias, etc.)¬†like a checklist without any inherent unity/coherence.¬† You should include a discussion of these aspects when they are important for a particular source, and you should integrate this evaluation into your annotation as a whole.

8.¬† You can include more than the minimum requirement of sources in your bibliography, and you should feel free to modify your bibliography/sources (add, delete, revise) until the final draft is due.¬† You also don’t have to use all of these initial sources in the final project (you can have both a ‚ÄúWorks Cited‚ÄĚ section and a ‚ÄúWorks Consulted‚ÄĚ section)

To start creating your annotation for each text, you should:

  • Provide a complete/accurate MLA citation
  • Summarize the reading in a few sentences
  • Below your summary, include any questions/concerns you have about the reading (such as if you do not understand a particular paragraph or sentence, or if you are confused because you think that the text contradicts itself in different places): be as specific as possible! (In the final draft, these questions/concerns will be removed and you provide a brief evaluation of the source and state its usefulness for your own project)

Here is a good resource on annotated bibliographies:

*There will be Peer Review on your Research Proposals and Annotated Bibliographies in various stages

Here are some sample Research Proposals (earlier drafts; the final draft will be streamlined) & Annotated Bibliographies.