Essay #3 is an information gathering exercise. Three sources should be placed in works cited form and briefly summarized. After each summary, you must also include a brief commentary of how you might use that source.

Though you are only required to have three sources for the bibliography, you will need four in your essay. This is just a start to your research, and I hope you will look for and read more than three sources. These might be the sources that you use for your essay, but they don’t have to be.Sometimes you realize that the sources you find at the beginning of your research don’t necessarily work with what information you need to provide for your argument.This is part of good research.You need to gain a breadth of knowledge about your subject.

This essay is very similar to what you wrote for Essay 1: Summary and Response. You are summarizing an article and then responding to it. Just as you did before, you can agree or disagree with the information you read. For example, you can ask if it was convincing information. Why was it convincing? Was the evidence presented in a logical manner? How was the article organized? Did they have statistics or stories to back up their claims? Etc. Keep in mind that you are describing THIS source – NOT the topic itself.

But you must also go further than this kind of response, you MUST SHOW how you will use this information for your own argument. Is it useful information to you and what your researched argument will be? What parts could you paraphrase as support for your own argument? Would you use any direct quotes from here? What parts would be useful for a counterargument?

Steps to complete this assignment:


  1. Go the our class’s library page and choose which database you want to start researching with.
  2. Use search terms to find articles that might be useful to you. If you aren’t finding anything with those search terms, change it up.
  3. Find at least three articles to read.
  4. READ the articles and take notes about what the main idea is.


  1. Summarize each of these articles in about 5-7 sentences.
  2. A summary of each article should include the following:
    • the identity of the writer
    • the implied or explicit audience
    • what kind of article it is – a newspaper article? A scholarly research paper? Etc.
    • the main point or claim
    • the kinds of evidence used to support the claim
    • how the author presents the information
  1. Based on your research come up with what you think your basic argument will be for your research essay.


  1. Evaluate the article: is it well-written? Does it have a thesis? Is it trying to convince you of something? Does it succeed? What kind of evidence do they use? Is this a reliable source?
  2. Question the article: are you left with any unexplained questions? Is there something you wish the article explained that it didn’t?
  3. Explain how this article will help your argument for your own researched argument essay: which quotes or examples do you plan to use? Does this agree with your argument? Or could pieces be used as a counterargument? (look in folder 4.6 if you don’t know what that is)


  • Each source should be from a reputable publication found in one of El Centro College’s Library Databases
  • Each annotation should be at least two paragraphs, consisting of your summary of the article and your response to it. Each annotation should be at least half a page.
  • Three MLA citations.
  • With your assignment, you must also turn in these items:
    • All three of your sources as PDFs or other text documents.
    • One completely filled out Book InSights Template.


  • Most of the work here will be unseen. That work is the finding, reading and understanding of your sources.
  • While it is not hard, it is VERY time consuming, so don’t assume you can whip right through it.
  • Use the InSight Template to take notes for each of your sources. This will be SOOO valuable to you when you are starting to piece together your essay. Think of this is a pre-writing exercise for your
  • Be sure to alphabetize the articles by author
  • Do not use sources published before 2010
  • Please look at the samples before you begin this essay.They will give you a sense of how your own document should be formatted.