Dr. Ryan Leack
A4 Proposal & Annotated Bibliography
Proposal (2-3 pages double-spaced)
This is a two-part assignment in preparation for Assignment 4 (A4), this course’s most
intensive and robust paper that draws together listening, thinking, and writing goals with a
sharpened attention to audience, ethics, and the personal and social significance of the field
you choose to work with (see A4 prompt). First, you will articulate in a 2-3 page (doublespaced) proposal what kind of A4 (rhetorical autoethnography) you will write and why you
feel this project has merit. Ensure to describe the following somewhere in your proposal:
1. Your intended subject matter
2. Your approach to writing and organizing the paper
3. The project’s value for a general college-educated audience
o If you would like to write for a different audience, let me know
4. How you will write the project for a general college-educated audience who may not be
familiar with your chosen discipline and background
o Or else how you will write to your chosen audience, in consultation with me
Use the proposal not only as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the subject matter you
will be pursuing in A4, but also to develop a sufficient plan for your essay. Remember, the
more developed your proposal is, the easier it will be to write the A4 draft.
In addition to the 2-3 page proposal, you will submit an annotated bibliography featuring at
least 6 texts you’ve read in full (a few more may be helpful), at least 3 of which must be
scholarly/academic, or else from professionals in the field to a specialized audience vs. a
general audience. We will review approaches for creating an annotated bibliography in
conferences, but below you will find a helpful overview.
Annotated Bibliography (2-3 pages single-spaced)
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of books, articles, and documents. Each
citation is followed by a brief (usually about 100-150 words) descriptive and evaluative
paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation here is to inform the reader of the
quality, relevance, and purpose of the sources cited to illuminate their later use.
First, locate and record citations of books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful
information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then
choose those works that provide a variety of useful perspectives on your topic. Cite the book,
article, or document using the appropriate style (Google “Owl Purdue MLA” for a nice guide).
Second, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme, scope, and use of the
source. Include one or more sentences that do the following:
a) Evaluate the authority or background of the author
b) Comment on the intended audience
c) Compare or contrast this work with another you have cited
d) Explain how you intend to use this source for your A4 subject matter/topic
Example Annotated Source (MLA Format)
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor Books, 1995.
Anne Lamott is a well-respected American novelist and non-fiction writer known for
her practical writing advice. Her book offers advice to beginning and intermediate writers on
the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities, failures, and strategies for
improvement. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in
Lamott’s book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to
jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one’s internal critic. In the process, Lamott
includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Unlike Nedra Reynolds’
more theoretical work Geographies of Writing, this text is a practical handbook to producing
and/or publishing writing of various genres. I plan to use this text in my paper to help address
the writing process by articulating writing exercises that would be appropriate for students in
Length: proposal = 2-3 pages, double-spaced; bibliography = 2-3 pages, single-spaced
Format: Times New Roman 12 Point Font, 1 Inch Margins, Heading with Your Name,
Course #, Date.
Title: Proposal & Annotated Bibliography
Sources: at least 6 sources cited and described/analyzed in annotated bibliography (MLA)
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