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Contemporary Social Issues - 2023-24: L9 Compelling Evidence Research Assignment


“The way things are does not determine the way they ought to be.”
― Michael J. Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? 

L9 Research Skills: Compelling Evidence

W1 Overview: Throughout this unit, you have considered how nonfiction writers utilize evidence and rhetorical strategies to support a purpose. The W1 assessment calls upon you to analyze the claims and evidence in a variety of sources about a particular topic, and to ultimately deliver a TED-style presentation that integrates research and employs rhetoric effectively to support your own purpose.


W1A: Annotated Bibliography

Select a significant topic in contemporary society about which you feel strongly. Read widely on this topic to build your knowledge and fully understand the existing conversation around this topic. As you read, analyze the claims and evidence in each source. Build an annotated bibliography that presents your analysis of five chosen sources. The selected sources should contribute to a full and balanced understanding of your topic. 

  •  The annotated bibliography should be presented in MLA 9 format. Work from start to finish must be drafted on the same Google Doc. NoodleTools may be used to create citations, which can be copied to your project document. Alternatively, use Purdue’s Online Writing Lab, which is an outstanding authoritative guide for all things research and citation.

  • Full bibliographic information should be provided for each entry, as well as a 250-300 word annotation that analyzes and evaluates the source. See this guideline for detailed expectations and examples concerning annotations. 

  • At least one source must come from each of the following:

  • ProQuest Central Student

  • Google Scholar 

  • Choose at least one from the RC digital subscriptions (JSTOR, Encyclopedia Britannica, relevant e-magazines/newspapers, etc.)

  • All entries will be drafted in class. You will receive detailed feedback from your teacher on your first entry, which will be ungraded. The remaining four entries will be graded and constitute the W1A grade.

W1B: TED Talk

Deliver a 3-5-minute TED-style talk that utilizes evidence from your research and rhetorical strategy to fulfill a specific purpose. As you watch your classmates’ talks, you will also demonstrate your ability to evaluate each others’ claims and presentation choices. Review the rubric to ensure that your talk and participation fully meets all requirements. 

Academic Honesty

Annotated bibliographies and presentations must be entirely your own work. Please see RC’s Academic Integrity and AI policy. 

Due Dates

  • Annotated bibliographies are due to no later than 10pm on Thursday, March 7.

  • TED talks will occur in class and finish before the exam period that begins on Wed. March 21.

Rubrics for Assessment

A Few Resources to Support Your Process

DEVELOP A RESEARCH QUESTION: The first step to a successful research project is finding a topic you will be interested in that fulfills the assignment requirements. 

LEARN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH TECHNIQUES: Once you have a topic, you should take some time to learn effective research techniques so you can find credible information efficiently.