Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Unit 2: Reflective Annotated Bibliography Assignment

In this Writing Workshop, we’ll be revisiting & reviewing the Unit 2: Reflective Annotated Bibliography (RAB) assignment together. I’ll be rolling out content periodically here over the next few weeks, as we advance to each stage of the assignment. Later this week (after reading / commenting on your individual research question posts), I’ll be sharing additional advice for how to for further focus/narrow/refine your research questions. And next week we’ll be deep-diving into the act of research itself (where to find sources, how to evaluate them, etc.). I’ll also be adding more details about due dates, samples of student work, resources for quoting and citation, and much more. But for now, we will begin with the idea of research as discovery.

Hold on though … before you go any further, go back and re-read the assignment (and make any additional annotations, as necessary) to refresh your memory on what the purpose and expectations of Unit 2 are. After you’ve finished that, keep on reading here …

Research as Discovery (Wednesday, 10/12)

A friendly reminder that we are continuing the conversation about our assumptions, expectations, and experiences with research in the Class Discussion What Counts as Research?? … so be sure to check that out, read through the additional resource and prompts I posted this week, catch up on your classmates’ comments, and add your additional thoughts there.

Now on to some new content! Below is an audio file I created for you to explore this concept (and its importance for a successful Unit 2 outcome) even further. Listen / annotate it, and then drop a comment below with what resonated with you / what you took away from it, as well as any questions you might have.

Research as Discovery (Professor Belli)

Week 10: Creating Successful Source Entries + Looking Forward to Final Draft of RAB

I’ve created additional content for this Unit 2 Writing Workshop, covering source entries, citation, titles, summary, rhetorical analysis, types of sources, research strategies, & what’s coming up next week (among other things). Click on the audio link below, and then listen & annotate it.

Unit 2 Workshop, Additional Content (Professor Belli)

*Note: the audio file fails to mention the 4th required component of the source entry: quotables. My apologies for that, and please don’t forget to include quotables at the end of each source entry.

Week 11 Content

[Examples of Unit 2 Student Work]


[Cover Letter Instructions]

An important component of any writing is your reflection on it. This Reflection is your Cover Letter, and must be included with your final draft of Unit 2.

  • Your Cover Letter should be 2-3 paragraphs, single-spaced (note: this letter does not count toward the minimum length of your Reflective Annotated Bibliography)
  • Address it to your reader (that’s me! e.g., Dear Professor Belli …)
  • Write in first person (it can be informal/personal)
  • Include the Cover Letter as the first page of your Dropbox submission file
  • Submissions without a Reflective Cover letter will not be accepted & will receive no credit

This Cover Letter presents the process behind your Reflective Annotated Bibliography, and therefore doesn’t restate what your Reflective Annotated Bibliography shares (the product) but rather discusses your drafting/revising process for this assignment.

Even though this is your Final Draft submission to me, you should have gone through a number of steps before you hand it in (pre-drafts such as brainstorming, freewriting, outlining; drafts of different components of the assignment; revision based on my written feedback and peer review; conferences with me and Writing Center tutors; revision, editing, proofreading). This Cover Letter is a thoughtful reflection on how your Reflective Annotated Bibliography has changed along the way.

Respond to the questions below holistically, in paragraph form (not in bullets, or in any particular order). But also feel free to add any other questions/concerns you have about your Reflective Annotated Bibliography or the writing process.

  • What is your research question and argument, and how have they evolved throughout the Unit 2 project?
  • Describe your drafting and revision process. What was most successful? Most challenging?  How did you approach those challenges? How did my written feedback and peer review (along with any discussions you may have had with me in my Office Hours or tutoring at the Writing Center) help you with these revisions?
  • What’s the primary question about your Reflective Annotated Bibliography that you most would like to get feedback on, and why?
  • Choose two elements of your Reflective Annotated Bibliography–one that you think works well, and one that feels less successful–and describe why.
  • What would you continue to work on in further revision?



Let’s Discuss!

Use the comment section below to ask any & all questions about the assignment more generally as well. As always, review all materials (and click all links) before asking questions, as you may find the answer you’re looking for there. But if not, ask away!


  1. Khandoker

    Will the topic we write about on our blog post “Research question” be the topic we will use going forward for our Unit 2 writing?

    • Jill Belli

      Hi Khandoker! Ideally yes. That blog post (and the brainstorming we did last week) are pre-writing / drafting for Unit 2, as as the Schedule states, the post you made last night is the first draft of the “Introduction” section of Unit 2.

  2. Brandon Rivera

    Quick question about our sources being different. Can I use a political cartoon as one of my sources or not?

    • Jill Belli

      Hi Brandon! Thanks for the question about sources — we’ll be talking more about them in detail next week (so stay tuned!). But, for now, yes, students can certainly use a variety of sources (across a variety of media) for their project. Keep in mind that you should definitely research / consult many more sources than the few required for the annotated bibliography, so deciding which sources to actually highlight in the final submission will depend on the source’s usefulness / appropriateness for the particular project at hand.

  3. Neal Ross

    If during the process we would like to switch our topic is that possible?

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks Neal for the question. There is definitely some room for switching topics early on in the process, though you’ll want to have a good reason for doing so (often, when students need to revise their topics, they simply abandon them instead of doing the work to make them more successful … this is not something I encourage, because it’s likely you’ll just run into the same issues the next time around too!).

      Once we get farther along, though, it’s best to stick with what you’ve chosen. That said, topics and questions can continue to be shaped/refined/focused as the project developed (and that’s expected).

  4. DavidP

    When looking for sources, what am I allowed and not allowed to use? My topic of choice has a lot to do with the opinions of many people and some sources may come from reviews of the game. They won’t be the only sources, nor will they be primary sources, but I would like to know if I can use them in some capacity or not.

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks for raising this great question David! In general, it’s not about being allowed/not allowed to use a source — it’s more about whether the particular source is useful (and if so, how) for your particular topic. This is where evaluating the sources (through the annotated bibliography) will be key. As to your specific question, yes, for your project it definitely makes sense to consult user reviews of the games — they provide important details about the quality, user experience, and reception of the games you’re discussing.

  5. Neal Ross

    Are there any certain types of sources you would prefer we stick to like articles or is it possible for us to use different types of sources like videos, or even interviews. I was thinking about conducting an interview to use as a source but I am not too sure if that can be considered a source/research.

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks for this important question Neal! You should definitely be exploring different types of sources. In fact, it’s required! As the assignment states, “Each of these three sources will need to be a different genre. That is, you can’t have four magazine articles or four YouTube videos.”

      An interview can certainly be a source, and that type of research (qualitative research) is a crucial aspects of understanding people’s lived experiences. It’s wonderful that you’re thinking of conducting your own interview — I encourage you to come see me during my Office Hours to discuss strategies for conducting an interview, as there are a few things to keep in mind as you do so.

  6. Jill Belli

    Hi everyone!

    I’ve created additional content for this Unit 2 Writing Workshop, covering source entries, citation, titles, summary, rhetorical analysis, types of sources, research strategies, & what’s coming up next week (among other things). Look for the new section in the post above entitled, Creating Successful Source Entries + Looking Forward to Final Draft of RAB.

    After listening to + annotating the audio file, please comment below about what you learned and asking any questions you might have. Thanks!

  7. Tahani Rabah

    Where do we upload our first draft? How long does this paper have to be ?

    • Jill Belli

      Dropbox links for first and final drafts are on the Schedule page. The Unit 2 assignment has details about word count.

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