ENG102 (topic: cosmetic surgery)

TOPIC 1: Working Bibliography

Though you have completed a preliminary bibliographical search, because you have now worked more with your topic, it is time to complete and submit a working bibliography. Your final research essay will need to cite at least 12 to 15 sources. Therefore, this working bibliography should list at least 15 to 20 possible sources.

At this point, you do not need to know that you will use a source to list it. You can always not put the source on a “Works Cited” page. However, in case you do need to eventually list the source, now is the time to obtain the complete, necessary publishing information about the source.


from Writing Research Papers,

Chapter 5, pages 82-96.


Bring to seminar a working bibliography, complete with necessary publishing information (author’s name(s), date, city, publishing company, volume number, etc.). See the text for the necessary information.

Your bibliography may be in the form of cards (3″ x 5″ or 4″ x 6″), or the works may be listed on a sheet of paper. You should have at least 15 to 20 items on the list. There should be a number of items from more current sources, which usually means they are from periodicals. Although magazines are current sources, because they contain advertising and may be biased, it is more effective to look for articles from journals rather than popular magazines.

The items may include sources other than published material. Personal interviews, TV shows, movies, videos, data bases, CD roms, audio tapes/CDs, and information from the Internet are among the possibilities when searching for information. These various sources require various kinds of information about them, all of which is listed in the text.

Primary & Secondary

Primary sources are sources of information directly connected with the events or experience about which you are writing. Secondary sources are others writing about a subject area who have already gathered the material. For instance, if you are writing a paper about anti-war movements, and:

⋅ if you interviewed someone who had marched in the Peace Demonstration on Broadway during the Persian Gulf War, you would be using a primary source.

⋅ if you read a newspaper article about that same peace demonstration, you are using a secondary source.

The secondary sources which you use may in turn be using primary sources or may be using other secondary sources. You will probably be using mostly secondary sources for this paper. However, for this working bibliography, mark each item “primary” or “secondary”. Submit your bibliography on note cards or papers, but mark each item “primary” or “secondary”.

TOPIC 2: Note Cards

Much of the important work of a research paper, including the first steps of organization, is done during the process of taking note cards. Either 3″x 5″ or 4″x 6″ cards will work fine.

As described in the assigned reading for this lesson, each note card should identify the source where you found the information and the page number (if there is a page number. For instance, there is no page number for films or personal interviews).

If the note you take is an exact quote, be sure to indicate that by putting quotation marks around your note. However, keep in mind that summarizing and in some cases analyzing is a much more efficient use of note cards. Copying whole quotations is similar to photocopying information and highlighting. This may have worked for shorter


papers, but for longer research essays such as this one, summarizing material on note cards instead of copying will save you an immense amount of time, and it will also make organizing your paper less complicated.

The text demonstrates various kinds of note cards. However, it is best to keep fewer notes on a card than more. In fact, one note per card is the best system because it will lend itself to whatever organization you finally use. One note per card allows you to be more flexible as you progress with your paper. However, other systems, especially if you think the information you are summarizing will stay together in your final paper, are possible.

You will probably make a few note cards which will not finally be used in your research essay. It is far better to have some extra, unused cards left over than to have holes in your essay. Consider any extra cards and notes you take to be an indication that you are doing good research.

Finally, instead of identifying the author and page number on the back of a card, as indicated in the text, many put them in the upper right hand and left hand corners of the cards. Again, the system is up to you, as long as each card fulfills the assignment described below.


from Writing Research Papers,

Chapter 6, pages 98-129.


Complete a sampling on at least a dozen note cards and submit them. Each note card should have:

⋅ an indication of the source (often the author’s last name is enough if you are only using one piece by that author).

⋅ the page number(s) from which the material came.

⋅ quotation marks around the note if the note is a verbatim quotation.

⋅ at the top of each card a category name or header for the card.

Categories (major ideas & sub-topics)

Begin as soon as possible to identify each card with a category. Each card should have at least a major idea, but eventually they should also begin to have topics and sub-topics as you develop them. Often, you may need to make a number of cards before you see similarities between them which become your topics. At the same time, the sooner you can begin to identify such categories, topics, and sub-topics, the more efficient your note card taking will become.

These major ideas, categories, topics, and sub-topics will become the items in the outline for your research paper. Having the notes and topics on cards allows you to arrange and rearrange your material into the most effective organization. Eventually you should be able to write your paper by flipping through the stack of note cards, allowing them to guide you through the first draft.

It is also possible to make note cards with your own ideas about your subject as you continue to think and explore. You may label them “mine” instead of identifying a source, but you can still label them with appropriate ideas, topics, and sub-topics.

Bring to seminar at least twelve cards, from at least four different sources. Also, they should be labeled with at least four different topics or sub-topics.

TOPIC 3: Outline, Plan, Organization & Thesis

As you have proceeded with your note cards, your plans for your essay may have changed. You may have added categories, deleted categories, or changed them as the need arose in your planning. You may want to brainstorm your subject if you have not already done so, rearranging and creating new clusters of information if necessary. The ways in which you identified your note cards should be your guide in this process.



from Writing Research Papers,

Chapter 7, Pages 135-148.


Bring to seminar an outline for your planned research paper. If you find it more suitable, an unconventional outline such as the one on pages 119-122 is possible. However, the final paper will need to be accompanied by a formal outline. Note in the reading the necessary sequence of an outline.

Roman numerals.

Capital letters.

Arabic numbers.

Small letters.

Small Roman numerals.

In any case, many of the main points and topics should be identified on the note cards. If you have topics in your outline or plan which are not on your note cards, then that is an indication of where to focus further research.

The topics of your outline should also support your thesis statement. As your outline changes, your thesis statement may also change.

To review, the steps of your research essay have been:

⋅ planning

⋅ creating a bibliography

⋅ note taking from the sources

⋅ outlining and planning

⋅ writing a rough draft

However, keep in mind that you will move back and forth through these stages, sometimes even looking for new bibliographical material after the rough draft has begun.

This outline/plan should be developed so far as to include sub-topics. However, it may change again after you begin drafting the actual paper.

Finally, include at the top of your outline/plan what you now consider to be your hypothesis or tentative thesis statement. A thesis statement is a complete sentence or sentences that identify the main idea of your paper and the areas that you will use to support it. the idea may be a descriptive overview or may be argumentative.