Thesis Statement Draft and Annotated Bibliography
In Modules 1 and 2 you chose a final project topic and narrowed your focus through the process of brainstorming and finding preliminary sources. Make sure you are reading your instructor’s feedback each week and making improvements before submitting the next Milestone. For example, if your instructor suggested replacing any of the sources you listed in Milestone 2, or refining your narrowed topic of focus, make sure to take that into account before working on Milestone 3.
Now, in Module 3, you will draft a thesis statement and evaluate your sources for relevance and credibility.
Step 1: Thesis Statement Draft
Make sure you have completed pages 3.10 through 3.12 in Chapter 3 on Drafting your Thesis Statement. There, you will learn more about how to create a concise, specific, effective, and relevant thesis statement and then draft it in the webtext, so it is essential that you complete the webtext work before submitting this assignment. Then, copy/paste the thesis statement you drafted in the webtext into the Milestone 3 Template Download Milestone 3 Templatefor submission.
Note: Your thesis statement is a working draft; it is ok (and expected!) that as part of the research process your thesis statement will adapt and change over the next few weeks based on your source analysis and your instructor’s feedback.
Step 2: Creating an Annotated Bibliography
Make sure you have completed pages 3.13 through 3.15 in Chapter 3 on Evaluating Sources and Annotated Bibliographies and viewed the following resource: Excelsior OWL–Annotated Bibliographies. (Links to an external site.)
Next, you will create an annotated bibliography for three of your sources. Each annotation should be approximately 100-150 words and contain the following: a brief summary of the source’s main argument, an explanation of its relevance to your topic and how you plan to use it, and a brief evaluation of the source for authority, currency, objectivity, and verifiability. See an example of how to put this together in the Milestone 3 Template Download Milestone 3 Template.
Step 3: Narrowing Your List of Sources
An important part of the source evaluation process is to narrow and reconsider your chosen sources. Over the next few weeks, as you refine your thesis statement and continue reading about your topic, you may want to replace some of your sources in order to have the most effective, relevant, and credible sources when it comes time to write your final paper in Module 7. Read page 3.16 in Chapter 3 on narrowing your list of sources.
This week, after you have evaluated three of your sources in your annotated bibliography and informally evaluated the others on your own, think about the strengths and weaknesses of each and choose 1 source to omit or replace at this stage. Explain in a few sentences why you are choosing to get rid of this source.
Step 4: Reflection
Write a short (~150 word) reflection paragraph about this activity at the bottom of your assignment. What did you find difficult about drafting a concise thesis statement? Which of the elements of source evaluation did you find most useful in creating your annotated bibliography? Do you think you will revisit your list of sources and continue to find new sources over the next few weeks? Why or why not? What questions or concerns do you have about the research process at this stage?