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EN 1201 - College Writing II (McCall)

Finding Research

English II Research Project

The Project Parts:

  1. Proposal (in conference)
  2. Part #1 Pre-1959
  3. Part #2 1960-1980
  4. Part #3 (completed project, including literature review) 1990-present

The Project:

The research project is designed to help you become more comfortable with the process of researching, summarizing, and weeding through useful and non-useful texts.  Your research project will be research on ONE topic; this will be the same topic as your final research paper, so choose wisely.  The reason this project is broken up across the semester and decades is twofold: 1) so you won't do it all the night before and 2) so that you will see how research changes across decades.

The Format:

For each "part" you will find no less than 3 articles and no more than 5.  There can be no Internet sources (as in no Internet webpages--you will be using the online library archives to search scholarly journals) for parts #1 and #2 and no more than ONE webpage for part #3.  Your research may be reproduced in a modern publication but the original publication date must correspond to the appropriate decade.  You must have one article for each decade.  Part #1 is the only part excused from this rule; you should be able to find something from the 1950's, other than that do your best to find two other articles covering, as close as possible, pre-1940s.  Remember an article doesn't have to speak directly to your chosen topic to be relevant.

With each article you will write an appropriate MLA bibliographic entry.  The articles will be arranged by decade and alphabetized within each decade.  For example, all articles from 1950, alphabetized, then articles from 1960 and so on.

Under each bibliographic entry you will write a short summary of the article.  This summary should be between 150-300 words.  It should be complete, proofread, and relevant.

Under the summary you will briefly (200 words or less) explain why you chose this article and how this article is representative of the decade's scholarship.  (synthesis)

For example, if studying physics and one source chosen is Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, then you would explain that you chose it based on popularity and that it demonstrates the movement in the 1980s for science to become more "popular" and easily digested.  You may have to complete some slight ancillary research in order to successfully write this short section.

Part #3 or the "final project" will also include a short 3-5 page paper that provides a "history" of your topic.  This is called a Literature Review.  You may borrow any words from previously written summaries/commentaries.  This 3-5 page paper will be double spaced and will be placed in front of the complete bibliography completed with parts #1 and #2.  There will be further instruction on the "final project" at a later date.

Find Articles Here!

Formatting your Bibliography

MLA Style Citation Examples

Paraphrasing and In-Text Citations

(Last name Page)


(Dorris and Erdrich 23)

More than two authors

(Last name et al. Page)


(Burdick et al. 42)

Journal Articles

 Last name, First name. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol., no. if available, year, pages. Database, if available. Stable URL, if available. 


 Borroff, Marie. "Sound Symbolism as Drama in the Poetry of Robert Frost." PMLA, vol. 107, no. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 131-44. JSTOR,

Journal article with multiple authors

When a source has more than two authors, include Last name, First name, et al.

 Last name, First name, and First name Last name. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol., no. if available, year, pages. Database, if available. Stable URL, if available. 


 Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdich. "The Crown of Columbus." PMLA, vol. 120, no. 3, May 1997, pp. 182-44. JSTOR,


Last name, first name. Book Title. Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year. 


Borroff, Marie. Language and the Poet: Verbal Artistry in Frost, Stevens, and Moore. U of Chicago P, 1979.

Book with multiple authors

When a source has three or more authors, reverse the first name and follow it with a comma and et al.

Last name, first name, et al. Book Title. Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year. 


Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital Humanities, MIT P, 2012. 

Chapter in edited book

 Last name, first name. "Chapter Title." Book Title, edited by Editor, Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year, pp. pages. 


 Bazin, Patrick. "Toward Metareading." The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffry Nunberg, U of California P, 1996, pp. 153-68.

Newspaper Articles

 Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title, First name Last name of any other contributors, Version, Numbers, Date of publication, Location.


Tumola, Cristabelle. “NYC Developers Seek to Justify High Prices with New Amenities.” Metro [New York City], 9 Aug. 2016, p. 4.


Sometimes, websites do not clearly state who wrote the information on the page. When no author is listed, omit the author information from the citation. Start the citation with the title.

 Last name, First name. “Article or Page Title.” Website Title, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.


 White, Lori. “The Newest Fad in People Helping People: Little Free Pantries.” Upworthy, Cloud Tiger Media, 3 Aug. 2016,

Annotated Bibliography


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations. What makes it different from a Works Cited or standard Bibliography is that each citation is followed followed by 1-2 paragraphs which inform the reader about the source. You should reflect on how you plan to incorporate a source into your paper. 

1. The citation

In MLA format. Arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

2. The summary

Provide a brief overview detailing what your article or book is about. You can discuss the authority of the author, the intended audience, or how this fits into the literature in that field.

3. The analysis

Explain why this article or book is important to your argument. Show how it supports and/or refutes your argument. You might also discuss its limitations or biases. Be as specific as possible.

Is the example you need missing?

Contact the Library at to request a new example and citation help!

Getting Help