P2: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY -  A RESEARCH PROJECT
Update: 23 February 2008

William Shakespeare's Hamlet
Worth 20% of your Grade on Formal Writings and 100 points toward AWS Score. 
Due Week 6.  Time Estimate: 20 hours
Research Resources  |  Research Method 

ASSIGNMENT OVERVIEW. For P2, the Annotated Bibliography Research Project, you will continue to develop your knowledge of literature and peace as you research and write about a character in Shakespeare's Hamlet.  You will be assigned a character and a critical perspective to use in your study of what that character knows and learns about peace as s/he responds to events that disturb the peace.  You will be in charge of deciding the specific type of peace (as well as the specific conflict situation) to research.  During this study, you will complete a series of exercises to practice scholarly research methods as you learn more about character's understanding of and reaction to conflict; these exercises will culminate in an original annotated bibliography and an analysis of your learning. Your learning will be enhanced and your individual grade improved inasmuch you focus on the project, get "real" with the topic and the research, and meet all deadlines as we go day by day, step by step, in the research process.  Your work for this project will be assessed in two areas:

AWS - ACADEMIC AND WORKPLACE SKILLS FOR P2 (100 AWS points): SCHOLARLY RESEARCH PROCESS.  A major goal of the activities related to P2 is to learn, practice, and improve scholarly research methods for (a) selecting, accessing, and evaluating information, and (b) thinking about, recording, and organizing that researched information. Another goal is to practice and develop teamwork skills as you work with classmates to make decisions on  topic refinement and critical approach, to decide which articles or books to read and study, to find resources, to clarify methodology, to provide feedback on research exercises and practices, and to enhance your understanding of your topic as you complete the assignments and activities. Plan to share your findings with your classmates regularly during the research project and to help them complete and polish their work.  You will show your ability to use specific scholarly research methods by completing a series of learning activities that will help you to develop an original, informed idea about Hamlet.  Your completion of the following activities, or exercises, according to a schedule of deadlines established in class, will show you have practiced the scholarly method:

A Working Bibliography.  This is a list of 10 or more relevant bibliography items only, like a Works-Cited List.  The sources you list will be  related to your research topic and will show that as a scholar, you always research more than you use in a given research paper or project.  WorkingBib-Score: 12 points if the 10 items are relevant, scholarly, not repetitive, in MLA format, and submitted by deadline.

A Research Journal (RJ).  You will keep a journal, a record of your thoughts, questions, and findings on Hamlet  that will demonstrate your work as a scholar in engaged in your study and in serious pursuit of learning. You are expected to write for 15-20 minutes each day, on at least 10 or more separate days, during the research process.  RJ-Score: 40 points (4 points for each day of satisfactory journaling on your topic, handed in by stated deadlines)  

Research Assignments (RA's).  You'll use an index-card system to record and manage information according to college-level standards of scholarship, and demonstrate a high quality of scholarship in choosing sources and taking of notes on them.  You are expected to complete an RA set for each of your three sources.  Note: An RA set=1 bibliography card and 2 related note cards - aim for correct types of sources (RA-Score: 36 points, if complete and submitted on deadline; see table below, Types of Sources).
Types of sources:  The final annotated bibliography turned in for a grade will include three items of the types of resources detailed below:

(1) RA-Lit: Primary source.  The literary work anchoring your study, Hamlet.  You'll choose passages that reveal the main traits of and central conflict faced by your character.  Score: 12 points if complete and on deadline (4 points bib card, 8 points for the note cards @ 4 points each)
(2) RA-ScholJ:
Secondary source. A substantive scholarly journal article, published within the last 30 years, that helps you understand your character ("substantive"=7 or more pages). Score: 12 points if complete and on deadline (4 points bib card, 8 points for the note cards @ 4 points each)
(3) Another relevant secondary source that is a scholarly source, chosen from the following types:  (a) another substantive scholarly journal article, this one written any time after the year 1650 (supported by RA-ScholJ); (b) a relevant article in a subject-specific reference work, supported by RA-SubjRef (I recommend Shakespeare Criticism or a subject-specific encyclopedia like The Encyclopedia of Ethics); (c) a book that provides secondary-source material on your topic or critical strategy, supported by RA-Book;  or (d) another kind of source, containing relevant material appropriate for a scholarly paper, such as a credible Website (emphasis on the word "credible") or an interview with an expert.  Use the index-card format practiced for the other RAs you have completed. Score: 12 points if complete and on deadline (4 points bib card, 8 points for the note cards @ 4 points each). 

Note: Students aiming for an "A" or "B" in the class are encouraged to include, in their Appendix materials for P2, at least a plan for an interview with an expert (in person, telephone, or email).

N.B. Level of Generality:  Do not use, for the two secondary source annotated bibliography items, any general reference books or encyclopedias like World Book Encyclopedia, Shakespeare A-Z, Shakespeare Basics, or Cliff's Notes related to Shakespeare, Hamlet, or the topic you are exploring to shed light on your Hamlet character.  While you are encouraged to begin research at the general level, you are expected to engage your topic in more depth and specificity, with more critical and creative thinking, as you build your bibliography and knowledge base on your topic.  You are expected, in other words, to move beyond the high-school types of resources and practice scholarly research that will equip you for success at the upper-division level at the college or  university to which you will transfer to study for your baccalaureate degree. Therefore, while you can refer to general reference books or general Shakespeare reference books in your journals and notes during the first week of the research project, move quickly beyond the generalities; and do not include these kinds of general sources in your minimum required number of items in your annotated bibliography. (You may use 1-2 general reference materials in the working 10-item bibliography.

Rough Drafts.  When you have completed your research on an item and recorded the important information on your index cards (RA's), you are ready to word process and develop your findings in a rough draft that uses the annotated bibliography format required for P2.  This typed draft is due with the related RJ and RA (see the deadlines listed in the course calendar).  AnBibDraft-Score: 12 points at 4 points for each completed draft submitted by the deadline.

P2: FORMAL PAPER and PROJECT FOR P2 (20% formal paper grade)

YOUR ORIGINAL ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, using MLA format, will be based on the topic and scholarly research process described above.  You will draft, polish, print out, and hand in an annotated bibliography of three or more sources of the types required, and arranged them alphabetically by the last name of the author of the source, including a title page and a signed plagiarism statement. Your annotated bibliography items, which include the play and at least one substantive scholarly journal article, will be developed and labeled as directed below.

Content of Each Annotation.  Your annotation is based on the notes you take on your index cards and on the writing you do for your research journal. Each separate annotated bibliography item you complete should be developed well—two or three pages double spaced (1-1/2 page single spaced)—to show that you have done the research, read the source, thought creatively and critically about the information, its relation to the play and to your topic, and created the annotation according to the content and format expectations in this assignment.   (MLA likes double spacing, but you may single-space your work for this assignment.)  Use boldface for the bibliographical item in MLA format, and then label in boldface each of the following parts (author's credentials, summary and usefulness, relevant passage and explanation).

  • The bibliography citation itself.  First provide the bibliographical citation of the item in MLA format, all in boldface.
  • Author's Credentials: Give the credentials of the author, and identify the source of that information about the credentials by providing enough information so I can go immediately to that source and check it (e.g., the URL).  The information in the credentials area must establish the expertise of the author on the topic of the article or book he or she has written. N.B., If you cannot find relevant credentials for a source, do not include the item in your minimum required for the annotated bibliography.  
  • Summary and Usefulness: Summarize the item that you have cited, and tell how it will be useful to you in developing your interpretation and/or thesis.  (If the item is a book, summarize the whole book, even if you are using only a part of it. The same goes for an article or any other source.  The summary is a summary of the work you have cited in your bibliographical item.)
  • Relevant Passage and Explanation: Choose a passage from the item related to your topic.  First introduce the quotation as you would in a research paper.  Then quote it (using the rules for in-text or set-off quotations, poetry and prose).  Then explain what the entire passage means and how it supports or illustrates a working thesis developed from the specific topic you research.  = Develop your explanation well to show your knowledge and critical thinking. (Use the APEx formula, and remember page numbers.)  Quote (and APEx) at least two passages from each source to deepen your study (duplicate the process, including the label).

The sample annotated bibliography item shows you what an annotated bibliography item looks like for an article in a scholarly journal found in the JSTOR database. Follow this model in terms of format, organization, and technique for developing the content of each of your annotated bibliography items, no matter what kind of source you are using.  Note that you may use single spacing for Paper 2 (to save paper), even though the MLA always prefers double spacing.  See Barnet to review the the rules distinguishing set-off from in-text quotations.

YOUR ESSAY (AUTHOR-SCHOLAR) ANALYSIS. When you turn in your completed P2, you'll also turn in a separate typed essay in the form of a letter to me that (a) describes of your research, learning, and writing process for this study of your  character in Hamlet, (b) analyzes the content of your 3-item annotated bibliography, and (c) evaluates your work as an author-scholar on this project. (A peer review of a classmate's annotated bibliography will be optional; you will receive extra-credit AWS points for this service and practice.)

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH.  You will practice and demonstrate professionalism in the compilation and presentation of your work, with the goal of being prepared for the upper-division level of college.  Use the guidelines on format provided in the text and handouts.  Each item in your annotated bibliography will be a separate document, with its own headings (heading for first page is the full one, including the draft #, the date of completion, and the word count).  Alphabetize all the bibliography items by last name of the author, and paginate your document manually, beginning with the first annotation.  Your title page will follow the format given, and will give the total word count for all three annotated bibliography items.  Use a 3-ring hard-cover binder (of a thickness appropriate to the amount of material you will submit in the binder) for your Annotated Bibliography.  The binder should have a window or panel for an additional title page and pockets in the interior, including a security and retrieval pouch for the RAs on index cards (or 3-hole them and place in the notebook).  Turn in two copies of the annotated bibliography (including title page): (1) an electronic copy for my files (as an attachment to an email), and (2) a hard-copy that you will 3-hole punch and set into your P2 binder.  (Turn in another hard copy if you want to receive and to complete an optional peer review on your paper.)  The sequence for your work should be as follows:

ROUNDTABLE PRESENTATION AND SUMMARY.  The date that P2 is due, we will have our final Hamlet Roundtable.  The assignment is available by clicking on P2 Presentation Assignment

Good night, sweet prince,

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! (5.2.334-5, Barnet 1034)


Note: The writing assignment for Quiz 1 will ask you to write about your research conducted for P2. Know your character well. You might be asked to write your plan for a research paper on Hamlet, based on the research you conducted for this annotated bibliography and aimed at the formulation and support of an original interpretation of the play and/or its productions.  Consider the following as you prepare for Quiz 1: (a)  Create a thesis for a proposed research paper of 5-7 pages.  (b) Generate a list of at least one topic sentence for each bibliographic item to develop major points and subcategories of the project paper based on this research.  Add in quotations from the play itself to illustrate your points. (c) Show where each of your references to the play itself and each of the items in the annotated bibliography will be located in this topic-sentence structure by including a quotation and explanation and/or summary of the information that this source provides to develop the topic sentence.  (d) Create an abstract of your planned paper by writing out the thesis and topic sentences into a single, unified paragraph, with added transitional devices to improve the flow of thought through this paragraph.  (e) Write out a key section of the planned paper, including one of the quotations and using the APEx formula.


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Created 10 October 2003. Revised 23 February 2008
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