sophocles ’ antigone raises issues W r i t i n g

sophocles ’ antigone raises issues W r i t i n g

Sophocles’ Antigone raises issues about family, the individual, society, social justice, power, and war. As we examined the play, we thought about and developed research questions inspired by this piece.

For this assignment you will do research and put together a 1,800-word annotated bibliography of three sources that help you answer your research question. This is not a traditional research essay. It does not begin with a thesis. Instead, you begin with a question and do research to seek answers.

A quick note: You will use the research from this assignment for a later assignment, so be sure you truly are interested in your topic.

Annotated bibliographies are used when doing research to help the researcher keep track of multiple sources and ideas. Usually the information gathered is needed for a larger project, and so it’s important to keep the information organized. Used in almost every field, annotated bibliographies allow researchers to gain a broad understanding of the topic or question they are investigating, and help them compile the data and information for their colleagues, students, and anyone interested in learning about the topic at hand.

Your particular annotated bibliography will be approximately 1,800 words and will include the following:

  • Your research question at the top of the page.
  • An introduction: introduce your question, explain why this question intrigues you, and say what you expect to find in your research (approx. 300 words).
  • Bibliographic citations for three sources. You should use MLA style to format these citations, and they should be listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. 
  • Three informational and reflective entries after each bibliographic citation (approx. 300 words). Each entry includes the following:
    • a summary of the source’s content.
    • a reflection on that source, which includes your opinion of what you’ve read.
    • a brief analysis of the author’s writing style: for example, what is the tone and choice of genre? You should also look at the purpose along with the author’s credentials (address why you think the author is credible).
    • a couple of key quotes you might want to use later.
    • A conclusion (approx. 400 words): What did you learn about your topic? How did your thinking change? Why is the research you found important? Which discourse community do you think would benefit from your research? Why and how would this discourse community benefit from this information?

Annotated Bibliography Template

The document below is designed to help you break down this assignment, so you can clearly see what is expected in each section.

Introduction (approx. 300 words)

  • Introduce your question.
  • Explain how or why you got interested in your question.
  • Explain what you expect to find in your research (a hypothesis).
  • Write this in paragraph format (1-3 paragraphs).

Source Entries (approx. 300 words each). You need three entries!

  • Use three sources.
  • Organize the sources in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
  • Be sure each source is a different genre.
  • Include an entry for each source (direction for entries are below).
  • Include all four parts for each entry (summary, reflection on the source, analysis of the author’s choice of genre and writing style, and quotes).

How do I write an entry?

Part 1:

The first part of your entry will be the MLA style bibliographic citation for your source. The citation gives the publication information, author, date, title, and so forth. There are many websites (like that can help you do this. Here is one example of a citation:

Fitzgerald, Jill. “Research on Revision in Writing” Review of Educational Research. 57.4 (Winter 1987): 481-506.

Part 2: 

For the second part of your entry (right beneath the citation), you will write a summary. This will be useful for remembering what you read. The summary should convey what the author states in the article and not your opinions. Write what you think the main point is, but also what you think the most important points are (these aren’t always the same.) This is also a good time to make note of what data, facts, and evidence the author uses to support their claims, and how they use this evidence to arrive at their conclusions. This will be approximately a paragraph long.

Part 3:

In the third part of your entry, you will write a reflection. This part is perhaps the most important part, so don’t skimp here! This is where you respond to the text you’ve read:

  • Do you agree or disagree with the text? Why or why not? Be specific!
  • Quote the text.
  • What questions do you have about what the text is saying? What don’t you understand?
  • What other information do you need to look up to better understand this article?
  • If you could say something to this author, what would you say?
  • What does this document tell you about your research question?

Also consider rhetorical factors here like the genre, writing style, purpose, and author’s credentials:

  • How do you feel about the author’s writing style?
  • What is the author’s intended audience and purpose (reason for writing)?
  • Is the genre effective? Does the choice of genre make sense for what the author wants to accomplish?
  • How do you know this is a credible author and document?

Part 3 will be approximately 1-2 paragraphs.

Part 4:

Quotations: Make a note of at least one direct quote from each source that you feel really exemplifies the document’s claims or interpretations or that you feel is important or useful in some way. Be sure to put the quote in quotation marks and note the page number.

Conclusion (approx. 400 words):

  • Summarize what you found in your research.
  • Tell readers what surprised you, or how your understanding of your question deepened or changed.
  • Explain why what you learned is important.
  • Explain who you think needs to know about your research and why– be specific! (The answer cannot be “everyone needs to know.” That is too big of an audience.) Narrow it down to who needs to hear about it first or the most!

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