Week 7: Conducting Research and Writing a 1st Draft


This week you will read an essay by my former student Leila-Anne. Her essay "Samsara" is a wonderful model of what I am looking for in this assignment: she has a clear thesis, logical, interesting organization, a distinct and authoritative voice, and wonderful development that is made more interesting by the research she has done.

You will also need to finish your research, submit your evaluative annotative bibliography (due Wednesday) and write a first draft of your essay.


  • become familiar with the features of travel writing
  • write an evaluative annotated bibliography in MLA format
  • learn techniques for discussing places as a visitor/outsider
  • continue to improve grammar and punctuation skills
  • write a first draft of a scholarly research paper

Activities & Instructions

  1. DUE WEDNESDAY: Turn in an outline of your project and your annotated bibliography: on the first page, please state your tentative thesis followed by a general outline of your essay; on the next page, begin your evaluative annotated bibliography, following correct MLA format and the instructions outlined section W-12 of The Little Seagull Handbook.Your annotated bibliography should look like this sample annotated bibliography. Please save your document as a PDF file to ensure that the formatting is preserved. Drop Box for Annotated Bibliography. (20 points)

    NOTE: an annotated bibliography is NOT the same as a Works Cited page. On the Works Cited page, you will only include the sources you actually cite in in-text citations (i.e., in the body of your essay), and you will leave out the annotations.

  2. Read "Samsara: The Birth, Life, Death, and Rebirth of Skaggs Island," by my former student Leila-Anne, and respond to the questions at the end of the essay in the discussion forum (5 points)

  3. Complete the InQuizitive activities on (1) incorporating quotes, and (2) punctuating quotes. (50 points total for all IQ activities in "assignments" category)

  4. Complete a full first draft of your essay by Sunday night. You may want to review section R-3 (Research "Synthesizing Ideas") and R-4 (Research "Avoiding Plagiarism") in the Little Seagull Handbook to help you transition into writing. I have also provided you with a lesson of my own on "Working with Sources." Submit your essay to Smarthinking for feedback. The final draft will be due next WEDNESDAY, August 8th!