Drafting Your History Essay!

  • Reminder about the Writing Process!
    • When preparing for Friday's History Exam this week, be sure to keep the steps of the Writing Process in mind:
  1. Try practicing the invention stage by freewriting about the elements of the essay that you can recall without notes or slides.
  2. Use the information in your freewriting to develop an outline of the structure your essay should follow, so that you can go back and fill in the things you didn't remember in the Invention stage.
  3. After studying your notes, go back and fill in the things you need to complete your outline.
  4. Finally, draft your essay, keeping track of the time it takes you to complete it. Do this more than once!

Source Analysis

  • Examine your sources!
    • First, look for a book review online (or use the abstract for an article).
      • Determine what information is most descriptive of your intention for using this source.
      • Summarize those specific details in your own words, as though you were explaining it to a classmate (but don't be too informal).
    • Next, find out some credentials for the source.
      • Examine the publisher, the author, the history of publication, and the number of references to the source to determine it's value.
      • Use Ulrich's to investigate a specific Journal publication
      • Use Google to find out about specific authors and editors
      • Use to examine the number of references. If your book or article is listed in Google Scholar, there will be a link under its listing called "Cited By", with a number of times it's been cited.
      • Assess all of this information and add the most relevant information to your annotation.
    • Finally, Reflect on the rhetorical situation of the piece. This requires you to read some of it!!
      • Focus on the Context of the source and make a judgment about the author's intended audience, purpose for writing, and personal bias.
  • Remember that each annotation you write will only be about a half page, so try to be picky about what information is most relevant to your investigation when you write these.

Writing Your First Annotation

  • Sample Bibliography
  • First note the differences between this example and your assignment!
    • Hint: this isn't in MLA format!
    • Also, the instructions for these annotations were a little different; be sure to write yours with more of a focus on the rhetorical situation.
  • Next, you'll need to use your own source to find the right information.
    • If you have your book source available to you, use it to create your first annotation.
    • If you've got to wait for ILL to get your book, use your journal article from Friday.
  • Then, your job is to compose a draft of your first annotation.
    • Use the Bibliography Template in the project description to guide you, but remember that your final annotations will not have the prompts (Summarize, Assess, Reflect) in them; those are just for drafting!
  • I need your annotation draft emailed to me (along with a citation for your book source) before the end of the day (this is your participation grade for the day)!


  • 5 sources due Wednesday in class
    • Your first five annotated citations are due!
    • Remember that this is just a draft; you can always revise them before the due date.