Embedded within every quest-ion is a ‘quest’ motivated either by a strong curiosity, or a deep concern. At times those curiosities and concerns are obvious to us; at others they need to be drawn out, clarified. Clarify whose quest-ion is it, whose and what concern has motivated or inspired it, and why do you (and should your audience) care about it? Thus the particular significance of a carefully crafted question as perhaps the launching pad of research. Begin thus with carefully crafting a question or two that you seek to answer. Seeking the input of professor may help refine the question, and that of classmates and friends a way to assess if it resonates with others. At times your audience may not share your curiosity, excitement or concern and may need your help in appreciating the quest you find yourself on.


If a quest-ion lies at the heart of research and discovery (and is therefore its launching pad), it also sends the one asking that question on a quest, the quest called research. Taking the question as your guide upon the quest – it will keep you from being distracted -seek to arrive at an Annotated Bibliography (AB). If done well, AB  is a critical landmark in the process of answering one’s question. A strong annotated bibliography should be a consolation that in terms of sources you have what you need to explore your question. Stay open to the possibility of your questions changing or being revised during the process of research.

Annotated Bibliography (As Intellectual Practice): The intention is to go through the process of research from formulating a good question to preparing a handy annotated bibliography that provides a solid foundation in pursuing the research question. Obviously, you are not expected to answer your question; the point is to take two good steps in that direction: i.e., formulating a good research question and creating a substantial annotated bibliography.

The culminating Annotated Bibliography will:

  1. Have a List: Of sources you were able to find that seem relevant to your question;
  2. Be Prioritized: Sources found will be organized in the order of importance/relevance to your question;
  3. Be Annotated: A good annotation will:
    1. Briefly summarize the content of the source; and
    2. Highlight what makes the source important in relation to addressing your question.
  4. Annotate at least two source that seemed quite relevant to you initially, but then did not fit the bill. Tell us why it appeared relevant initially and not worthwhile upon perusal.