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SYO 4530: Inequality in America


You will submit a half page typed prospectus of the topic you are going to research. Include:

  1. a working title
  2. what the focus of your research will be
  3. why you selected the topic
  4. how you plan to analyze the subject, such as via content analysis of media messages or historical documents, through secondary data analysis, critical review of existing literature or your own qualitative or quantitative research.

This prospectus or abstract will reflect a research project that you will research and complete an annotated bibliography based on. You will critically review and analyze your sources in preparation for your research paper so it is important that your prospectus be clear, succinct with a properly narrowed focus.

Thesis statement or hypothesis:

  • the topic or subject of your research
  • the question you are going to ask about the subject (the perspective from which you will examine the subject or theory to help direct your inquiry)
  • the argument you are going to make about it (this will undoubtedly shift as you search for sources and write, but you need to begin to formulate a hypothesis to help focus your research)

See the following examples (and examples posted in Canvas):

Annotated Bibliography

All students are required to do an Annotated Bibliography to help develop their research projects.

The main objective of this assignment is to develop an annotated bibliography of research related to inequality in a particular subject area such as gender, race, sexuality, disability, or class.

  • Include an explanatory abstract, stating the purpose of the bibliography (describe the bibliography and its value to your research rather than focusing exclusively on the research itself) in no more than a paragraph to set the context.
  • The bibliography itself shall contain a minimum of 9 citations; with 10 scholarly sources being optimal. he consistent and correct citation format is required. Electronic sources must be cited in a proper, consistent format.
  • The citations should be annotated in one to three paragraphs.
  • Use MLA or APA style, not a mixture.
  • Limit Internet sources to two.
  • At least eight (8) of these annotated citations should be substantive, critical notes on the content and methodology or theoretical content of the source; the rest can be descriptive comments on the usefulness of the item or its value to your topic.

This annotated bibliography should accomplish at least four (4) of the following:

  • Briefly describe the content of the source
  • Describe the focus or purpose of the source
  • Identify the usefulness of the article or book
  • Pinpoint defects or limitations that the source may have
  • Categorize the possible audience for which the article or book is intended
  • Identify what research methods were used in the book or article
  • Identify the theoretical perspective of the source

There is an Annotated Bibliography Template posted in eLearning. For additional help and examples, see the following guides and tutorials:

Sample Annotation (in APA)

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.

An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

*example from Purdue OWL

Citation Styles

For help and examples of citation styles, see the following UWF Libraries resources:

Tips for Finding Sources

1.  Books - search the library catalog

2.  Scholarly articles - search OneSearch and limit results to Peer-Reviewed Journals, or search in a subject database

3.  Authoritative online sources (websites) - use Google Advanced search to limit results to .edu or .gov domains

     Use the CRAAP test for evaluatng websites:

  • C - currency
  • R - relevance
  • A - authority
  • A - accuracy
  • P - purpose