The Assignment

Analytical Research Paper/Can of Mystery
It’s about to get real weird in here!

Requirements for Annotated Bibliography:
5 Sources
Proper MLA format plus annotation for each

Requirements for Informative Article:
400-800 words
At least one image/video (properly attributed and cited)
List of works cited (properly attribute all works used)
At least one hyperlink
At least 3 useful links for further research
Five tags (to help viewers look up articles)
Submit through blackboard’s SafeAssign by due date (it is your job to make sure I have it)

Requirements for Analytical Paper:
3-6 pages double spaced
MLA Format– in-text citations and a works cited list
No quotes over 5 lines long

This project might seem a little strange at first, but bear with it. We have a few types of writing to do to complete the project. We will be starting with an Annotated Bibliography which will help you gather sources. You will then be writing an informative article that will be posted publically to the CAN OF MYSTERY website. Finally, you will be writing an analytical research paper which will not only provide your audience with information on an unusual subject, but will require your analytical skills to connect your topic to a larger idea, or concept. In a sense you will be doing double duty (with the goals of information and analysis) and will need to think very specifically about the rhetorical situation of this paper because at least one of the assignments (the article) goes beyond the scope of our classroom.

Subject matter:
1) I am providing you with a topic (we’re drawing them at random). These topics are a bit strange, but not entirely obscure.
2) You will have to find a way to provide researched information on these topics to an audience who is unfamiliar with the subject matter.
           3) You must also find a way to perform some sort of analysis in this paper. This may seem difficult at first, but with some critical and creative thinking we can all find ways to connect our topic to a concept.   Remember that we begin an analysis by asking questions, and finish it by providing an answer. That answer is based on our interpretation of the “text.”

Audience :
Your audience is almost assuredly unfamiliar with the topic of your paper. You will have to think carefully about how to present them detailed information, and guide them through your take (analysis) on the topic. The topic for our article is the entire world, so keep that in mind…I suppose.

Sources are going to be vital in obtaining information on your subject, and may be important sources of controversial information.  However, you must consider the validity and the datedness of the resources, especially when dealing with web sites. We want to use the best sources available! (Use MLA format for citations, abstract and annotated bibliography).  Think outside of the box. There are videos, web pages, newspaper articles, history books, encyclopedias, related topics and the like, all of which could help you gather information on your topic.

Annotated Bibliography :
An annotated bibliography is one step in the research and completion of the paper (in other words, although it is turned in separately and counts as a separate assignment it will be part of the same paper cycle. An annotated bibliography is an alphabetized list of sources compiled for use in a research paper or project. It looks very much like a normal bibliography or works cited page, except that following every citation is a short paragraph which summarizes the source, its intentions, primary audience, unique properties, and relevance to the topic at hand. 

A good annotation contains the following things:
1) A short (one to two sentence) summary of the source’s contents. 
2) A statement which comments on the purpose of the source.
Is it intended to influence the reader? 
Is there a specific audience the writer had in mind? 
Is it merely written to be entertaining?
3) A statement which comments on the uniqueness of the source.
Why did you choose this source? 
Are there pictures, is it well organized? 
How is it different from the other sources available
4)  A statement about how the source is helpful or relevant to your topic.
What do you hope to use from this source? 
And how?
5) Context of the article? 
Who wrote it?
Where was it published?
Who is the intended audience?

Informative Article:
We will be posting our informative articles to . Using your research provide basic information about your “weird” topic to your audience.  I will be helping you to locate valuable resources, and to format the article. We want some continuity between our articles, so that the blog looks cohesive. You will be submitting your work through blackboard's safeassign and I will be posting your entries. All you have to do is write them, provide me with links and information, so those of you who are not so great with computers don’t have to worry as much.

Analytical Research Paper: Now we have to move beyond information into analysis. Analysis has to do with your interpretation of something. It centers on a concept. A concept is a big thing, an idea. There are concepts about truth, life, death, triumph, defeat, beauty, ugliness, fate, free will, human nature, humanity, love, hate, evil, right, wrong, wisdom, foolishness…those are huge things, and the list could go on indefinitely. Could your topic be an example of some bigger concept? Does it talk about obsession? Or greed? Or curiosity? Or optimism? Or permanence? Or love? Or faith?  Or dedication? Or perseverance? Or ingenuity? Or imagination? Or hope? Or desire? Does it discuss some fragile human need to believe the unbelievable? What does it say about those things? It has to say something, and so do you! Take a stance, tell me what you see, and then prove it by providing examples and explanations. Be patient teachers for your audience.