Skip to Main Content

ENGL 2271 - Winter 2022


To get started today, log into a classroom computer or your own personal laptop, tablet, etc. and open the MRU Library website

How to find the ENGL 2271 course guide:

  1. Go to the library home page (
  2. Click on "Research Support" (on the menu bar)
  3. Click "Subject Guides & Specialists"
  4. Look for English and click "guide"
  5. Look for "courses" (on the menu) bar and select "ENGL 2271 - Holmgren"

Go to D2L:

  1. Open Essay Assignment 2 (Proposal, Annotated Bibliography, and Research Essay)


  1. Objectives
  2. Research organizer
  3. Finding information for your topic
  4. Class time to work on your proposal/annotated bibliography/essay


By the end of class, you will be able to:

  1. Find the ENGL 2271 library course guide for this class
  2. Observe a demonstration of LibrarySearch to find scholarly sources
  3. Use at least one search tool to find a scholarly article
  4. Use at least two different search strategies to find scholarly articles

What do you want to learn today?

  1. One question survey - help me learn a bit more about you and your library experience (enter code 5345 8793)
  2. Tell me what would be most helpful for you to learn today 

You can upload this to your Google Drive.  
1.  Open the document
2.  Go File >> Save As  and save to the desktop
3.  Open Google Drive
4. Click My Drive >> Upload File

Developing Your Topic:

  • "Unpack" your assignment (there are three parts) - review line by line
  • Begin thinking about your argument or point of view
  • Underline the words that will be the key terms in your searching.
  • Brainstorm for synonyms.



Quality refers to how trustworthy and reputable your source is.

  1. Purpose: Consider the purpose of the source.  Why did the authors write it and how do you know that?
    • Is it fact or opinion?  Is there bias?  (Does the source favour one thing over another in an unfair way (sometimes referred to as one-sided)?
    • Consider the audience of the source.  Who did the authors write it for and how do you know that?
  2. Authority: Consider who wrote the source and who is responsible for the source.  Are the authors experts on the topic and how do you know that?  Who is responsible for this information - a company, a government, a university, personal?  How do you know that?
  3. Currency: Consider when the source was published or written.  How recently was it written and how do you know that?
  4. Reliability: Consider the information from the source.  Does your source provide details about where they got their information - such as references?
  5. Relevance: What does it have to do with my topic?

Scholarly Articles

  • Often referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed 
  • Written by experts in a particular field
  • Keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research and findings. 

What is peer-review?

  • When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field.  They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.

General Characteristics

  1. Author: Expert in the field
  2. Review: Reviewed by other experts (peers)
  3. Audience / Language: Written for scholars and students; uses academic language
  4. Content: Original research and criticism; uses previous research literature for background
  5. Citations: Always

General Searching Tips:

Less is More: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time

  • Grimm
  • Grimm Christian

Phrase searching: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words

  • "Brothers Grimm"
  • very useful when you have a specific phrase containing common words

Truncation: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords

  • christian* = Christian, Christians, Christianity
  • canad* = canada, canadian, canadians
  • existential* = existential, existentialism

Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions

  • Date (last 10 years)
  • Peer-reviewed (for articles)

You can combine all the above strategies in your search:

  • Christian* influence "Brothers Grimm" 

When searching English Literature, consider:

  1. Author (as subject)
  2. Author's work(s)
  3. Themes in author's works / similar themes in other works
  4. Issues of the time or literary period (ie. aesthetic, philosophical, social, political, etc.)
  5. Analysis/ methodology (ie. rhetorical analysis, etc.)
  6. Criticism / critical
  7. Filter out review articles

Additional Strategies

  1. Citation mining / chaining
    • Scan the references of key articles or books that you've found
    • Use "Cited By" tools
      • Google Scholar
      • Scopus
      • Inside some databases
  2. Full-text keyword searching / Journal
    • By journal
      • English Studies
    • By publisher
      • Taylor & Francis
    • By provider
      • Project Muse
  3. Full-text keyword searching / Book
    • By book
    • By provider
      • Ebook Central

What are the best tools for the information that I need?

General Search Tools

  • These search multiple disciplines.  Not as strong for finding discipline-specific topics (ie.  stress - psychology or stress - engineering)
  • Examples include: LibrarySearch, Academic Search Complete, Google Scholar

Subject Specific Search Tools

  • These tools are focused on a specific discipline, such as psychology, economics, biology, etc.  Use the subject guides to help choose a subject specific search tool

For literature, consider:

  1. Article databases, under Articles, in the English subject guide
  2. Oxford Reference Online, under Background Sources, in the English subject guide

Citing and Referencing in MLA

  1. Use the "cite" feature in most search tools to get you started with most resources
  2. Use the MRU citations guides and resources to find additional help for MLA, including guides, and videos. 
  3. Use the Service Desk on the 1st floor of the RLLC for assistance as well as the library chat feature on the library website.
  4. Make an appointment with Student Learning Services

What is it?

An annotated bibliography is a list of references with a brief description

  • Includes complete bibliographic information (a citation)
  • Summarize the work – describe the content of the article
  • Evaluate the work – critically look at the scope or main purposes of the work. 
  • Note authority (who wrote it) and any possible biases
  • Determine the relevance – discuss how the source is relevant to your topic
  • Do NOT use the abstract to summarize, use your own words
  • Demonstrates that you have taken the time to look at a variety of sources to support your topic

Things to Remember

To avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing, remember these five important points:

1) Your paraphrased text should be significantly different from the original (i.e. don't just change a few words here and there)

2) You must change the structure of the sentence or paragraph you are paraphrasing, not just the words.

3) If you use anyone else's words verbatim (word for word) you need to put quotation marks around it.

4) Use proper citation methods to give credit for the ideas, opinions, or theories you are presenting.

5) Check that you have preserved the original meaning of the text in your paraphrased version

What do I need to include?

An annotated bibliography entry consists of two components: the Citation and the Annotation. For this assignment, use MLA style format (9th ed.)

Generally, an annotation is approximately 100-300 words in length (one paragraph). However, your professor may have different expectations so it is recommended that you clarify the assignment guidelines.

An annotation may include the following information:

  1. A brief summary of the source
  2. The source’s strengths and weaknesses eg: has it increased your awareness on the topic you chose?
  3. Its conclusions
  4. Why the source is relevant to your selected theme
  5. Its relationships to other themes in the course eg. social issues and social change
  6. Information about the author’s background
  7. Your personal conclusions about the source in relation to your positionality and a discussion topic.

Examples of Annotated Bibliographies and how to format 


Profile Photo
Chris Thomas

Phone: 403.440.8501
Office: EL4423E