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FP-130 Research Guide


This assignment will:

  • Expose you to the variety of print and electronic resources available at USNA.
  • Develop your skills in locating, critically evaluating, and selecting the most important and appropriate sources for your project.
  • Highlight the importance of properly citing sources for academic work.
  • Introduce you to the major citation systems.
  • Assist you in creating research-based arguments through use of quality, scholarly sources.


1.  On a separate sheet of paper, write the thesis of your research assignment.
A good thesis is a concise, provocative sentence on which reasonable people can disagree, that is supportable with research so that you persuade others to agree with you. Make sure that yours meets the following criteria:
  • Does it directly address the assigned topic?
  • Is it written as a statement with which it is possible to agree or disagree?
  • Is it tailored to a scope appropriate for the paper length?


2.  For each of the media types listed below, find one resource that supports or refutes your thesis.  Check the tab on the left for a tip sheet on doing an annotated bibliography.



Newspaper article:

Scholary journal article:

Popular press magazine article:


3.  For each resource, write an annotation that includes:
  • the bibliographic entry as it will appear in your works cited page (Check with your instructor to find out which citation style he/she requires or recommends
  • a short summary of the source 
  • evaluation of the quality of the source in terms of accuracy, authority, and overall usefulness
  • how this source will support of refute your thesis


NOTE: For additional information and sample bibliographies, see the Tip Sheet for Annotated Bibliography tab on the left.