Saturday, February 22, 2014

UPDATE: 22 FEB 2014

For Tuesday's class session, please read the second chapter from Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing (it begins on page 11) and Stephen Burt's essay "'LIKE' A speculative essay about poetry, simile, artificial intelligence, mourning, sex, rock and roll, grammar, romantic love."

As with the previous reading assignments, please come prepared for a short quiz at the beginning of class and a discussion of the texts.

Hugo's essay can be found on Blackboard and Burt's essay can be found online at the American Poetry Review's website.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

UPDATE 18 FEB 2014

For Thursday's class session, please read the third excerpt from James Longenbach's The Resistance to Poetry (i.e. Chapter III: Forms of Disjunction) and the Philip Larkin essay "The Pleasure Principle."

As with the previous reading assignments, please come prepared for a short quiz at the beginning of class and a discussion of the texts.

Both essays can be found on Blackboard.

Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography

DUE DATES: 18 March 2014 (Proposal) / 03 APRIL 03 2014 (Annotated Bibliography)

For this assignment, you will write a brief proposal that outlines the focus of your research and compile an annotated bibliography that contains the sources you will use for your final research essay.


The proposal is a type of promise (to yourself and your instructors) that will guide you through the research process and development of a research-based argument. In all likelihood, as you conduct your research, your topic will modify in some way. This is perfectly acceptable and is, in fact, normal.

A wide variety of disciplines and professions use proposals as a means of developing agendas for research communities, securing funding for studies, publicizing plans for inquiry, and field research, and testing the interest of potential audiences in a given project. Therefore, the genre, organization, and contents of the research proposal differ in many important ways from other types popular and academic writing. In the proposal, you need to explain your interest in your chosen subject and establish a set of questions to guide your inquiry.

Your proposal for this course should contain the following elements:

1) An introduction that clearly states and describes your topic, outlines your purpose, and identifies the conversation you’ve entered. You should develop a working thesis; this tentative statement will help you navigate sources more effectively and assist with time management. But remember” be prepared to change your thesis as often as an honest interpretation of the data demands.

2) Provide background on your topic and what you know so far. Acknowledging how little you know can be an effective rhetorical move, for it demonstrates your need to conduct research. Of course, you should undertake preliminary research that you will incorporate and properly site in this section. Therefore, please integrate 2-3 reputable and relevant sources in your proposal.

3) Identify a series of research question that will inform your project and explain them in your proposal. While you, no doubt, will pose some general questions, make sure that you develop a series of specific and relevant (thus helpful) question in order to guide and focus your next stage of research.

4) Determine and articulate the purpose or goal of this research: Why are you researching this particular topic? Why do you feel compelled to study this topic further? Whom do you hope to persuade? What is the significance of this work?

This aspect of your assignment should be approximately three pages in length, double-spaced and typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font.


You will follow your proposal with an annotated bibliography, which is a list of MLA-style citations for books, articles, websites, etc. Each citation is followed by a paragraph-long description and evaluation of the source.

Before you begin writing your annotated bibliography, you will need to narrow down your research topic. A good annotated bibliography includes only those sources that directly relate to your narrowed, focused research question. To this extent, you want to ask yourself: What specific questions do I have about my topic that I would like to answer through research? Any one of those questions would likely be a suitable research topic.

Once you have decided on a focused research question, you may begin collecting sources for your annotated bibliography. The bibliography itself will consist of eight secondary sources, which are listed below by type (along with the rules to follow). You must have eight sources:

At least two books: this includes anthologies, but not books printed solely on the Internet (i.e. if the book is online, it must have appeared in print first).

At least four essays or articles from journals, magazines or newspapers: You should find these in databases, and if there is a link to full text, that’s okay. Otherwise, use Inter-Library Loan or get them out at our library.

As mentioned previously, each source in an annotated bibliography requires the following material:

First, describe or summarize the main points made in the book, article, on the webpage, etc. You should discuss the central theme of the source, the thesis, the audience it is trying to reach (if possible), etc.

Second, you will need to evaluate the source. Your evaluation should include why the source and the author are credible, how the source is relevant to your narrowed research question, and how you evaluate the source (i.e. Is it good, bad, boring, interesting, too simple, too complex, etc?)

While you may include the texts we've read in this course in your final essay, please do not include them in your annotated bibliography. The sources you summarize and evaluate should stem from your own, independent research on your specific topic.

This aspect of your assignment should be approximately eight pages in length, double-spaced and typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font.

Each of the sources must be formatted to MLA specifications.