Writing our Biology Assignment #3: Annotated Bibliography

After reading your article about muscular Christianity, scholars impressed with your understanding of how we as a society reward and cherish health have asked you to discuss how the field of eugenics might be making a reappearance in contemporary public policy.  Because this isn’t your area of expertise, you run to the library to prepare an annotated bibliography to help you understand the topic more comprehensively.

Your annotated bibliography should consist of six citations; only one of these citations can be an internet source.  The remaining five must be journal articles, book chapters, and books.  Two of these sources must be in print form.  If possible, try to find sources examining the relationship of eugenics to public health.

After identifying and preparing citations for six sources, select the four strongest ones and provide one-paragraph annotations for each. These annotations, or “evaluative summaries,” should begin with 2-3 sentences summarizing the source’s contents, continue with 2-3 sentences citing and explaining the relevance of key quotations or terms, and conclude with 2-3 sentences discussing how this source contributes to an argument for or against eugenics.

Audience:  Someone who needs to learn more about academic arguments regarding eugenics.

Format: MLA style


Type: Present research within the conventions of a genre that is particularly relevant to the course topic

Rationale: The purpose of this assignment is to give students practice identifying, accessing, and interpreting academic sources.

Pre-draft Activities:

  1. Consider an annotated bibliography I will give you.  Identify the different components of the annotations as outlined in the assignment.
  2. Library visit.
  3. Find sourced definition of “liberal eugenics” and bring to class for discussion.
  4. Have students write summaries of Agar with special emphasis on what they find most useful, then together build one student’s summary into an annotation for a bibliography.  Afterwards, break into pairs to revise in-class summaries into annotations.  Peer review and discuss with class.
  5. Review one student’s work cited list from a former essay, with special attention to MLA form (punctuations, italicized, quotations, etc.)  Have the class revise and correct together.  Afterwards, break class into smaller groups to peer review cite forms.
  6. Review syntax (SVO) in connection to sample sentences from students’ drafts.


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