Prior to working on this assignment,
To prepare for this week’s assignment, apply the feedback your instructor gave you to revise your Week 3 assignment. To learn how to view the comments on your papers watch the Waypoint: Accessing Assignment Feedback (Links to an external site.) video
This week, you will complete your annotated bibliography
Find Two Appropriate Non-Scholarly Sources Using a Search Engine such as Google or Bing
Locate the search terms you developed in Week 3. Use them and a search engine (like Google or Bing) to find two non-scholarly sources that address your research question. In order to be appropriate, these sources must pass the CRAAP test.
The non-scholarly source may be any of these types of sources:
The non-scholarly source may not be
Be sure to copy and record the URL (web address) of the non-scholarly sources that you choose so you can include it in your reference.
Create APA References for the Two Non-Scholarly Sources
Remember what you learned about how to format references in the APA Skill Check (Links to an external site.) on creating references. Then, create the APA references for both sources in the All Sources Annotated Bibliography template download. Check your references using the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center’s Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) to ensure they are correct. Also, you may view the Week 5 Annotated Bibliography Example downloadto review correct format.
Write Annotations for the Two Non-Scholarly Sources
Now, you will write annotation for the two sources. The annotations must be in your own words, two paragraphs long, and address the points below. Provide brief descriptions, explanations or examples to support your answers.
Paragraph 2: Evaluate
Include references and annotations for sources from Week 3
Review the feedback from your instructor on your Week 3 Assignment. Make any revisions or corrections you think will improve your submission. Insert the revised references and annotations into the appropriate sections of your All Sources Annotated Bibliography template.
Develop a Thesis Statement Based on Your Research Question
Use the Turning Your Research Question into a Thesis Statement worksheet downloadto help create your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should summarize the conclusions you came to after researching your topic and be no more than two sentences long. Note: you will not submit this worksheet for grading but will paste the thesis you develop at the beginning of your bibliography.
To make sure your submission is as strong as it can be it is recommended you:
The Final Annotated Bibliography
Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
Turning your Research Question Into a Thesis Statement A research question helps get you started with your research. However, as you begin to write about that research, you need to turn that question into a working thesis. Questions often do not work well as a thesis. So how do you change a research question into a thesis? First, let’s define what creates a good thesis, then we’ll learn how to change a research question into a thesis statement.
Definition of a Good Thesis:
• The thesis statement holds up your paper. You can compare it to the foundation of a building: if your foundation is poorly built or too weak – if your statement is too general or flimsy – the building will fall down. It’s key to build a strong foundation, one that will hold up the many parts of your building.
• The thesis statement announces the argument you intend to make and explain, describe and prove in the main body of your essay. You might view it as a road map for your analysis since tells the reader what to expect in the essay. Be sure to write a clear and direct road map that contains the essential elements of your argument.
• The thesis, which can be one or two sentences, should be placed somewhere in the
introduction of your essay. It will often appear as the last sentence(s) in the paragraph.
• A successful thesis statement not only keeps your building standing and helps the read find their way through the essay, but it also should be thought provoking and engaging.
• Your thesis statement should include two
parts: WHAT and WHY:
o WHAT: What claim are you making about your topic?
o WHY: Why should we care about that claim? Why is your claim
important to you and your analysis? In other words, your thesis should answer the “so what?” question.
Changing a Research Question into a Thesis: The research questions from your previous handout include the following:
• What can we do in the United States to prevent acid rain? • What impact do fishing regulations have on commercial fishing in New England? • How will China’s effort to censor the Internet affect its citizens? • How does distance education impact the social skills of high school students?
The question has helped you to learn a bit about your topic. For instance, you have found several sources that indicate that coal burning creates acid rain. Therefore, you can write a working thesis that includes both the problem and solution (the “WHAT” and the “WHY):”
• What can we do in the United States to prevent acid rain?
o EXAMPLE THESIS: Since many factories and electrical plants burn coal that causes acid rain (the WHY), Americans should transition to cleaner technologies, like solar and wind power (the WHAT). Note that the research question has produced a result — coal
burning plants cause acid rain – and suggested an alternative – solar and wind power.
• What impact do fishing regulations have on commercial fishing in New England?
o EXAMPLE THESIS: The fishing regulations in New England create a
hardship for fishermen who legally can only harvest specific species of fish in a limited time period (the WHY). To help keep the fishing industry thriving, laws can expand the fishing season for some species of fish that are not endangered (the WHAT).
Note: This working thesis is contained in two sentences, which is fine if you have a complex topic.
• How will China’s effort to censor the Internet affect its citizens?
o EXAMPLE THESIS: China’s effort to censor the Internet causes Chinese people to use develop websites and blogs that appear to come from the United States (the WHAT), which can be deceiving for the student who is seeking academic research online (the WHAT).
• How does distance education impact the social skills of high school students?
o EXAMPLE THESIS: Since distance education cannot adequately teach social skills to high school pupils (the WHAT), online students are encouraged to join local clubs, sport teams or volunteer groups, which will help them make friends as well as learn how to navigate social situations (the WHY).
Notice how the research question is addressed in the thesis statement (Since distance education cannot adequately teach social skills to high school pupils), as well as a conclusion of the research (students are encouraged to join local clubs, sport teams or volunteer groups.). Therefore, your thesis will include a portion of the research question as well as the results of research done on the question.
Template: Research Question: ______________________________________________________. Thesis Statement: Research Question portion: _____________________________________________________________________
Results of research or suggested solution to the Research Question: Check to make sure your thesis contains the “WHAT” and the “WHY.”
Prayer in Public Schools
University of Arizona
GEN103: Information Literacy
April 29, 2020
For APA 7th edition, no header is required.
should be at
the top right
of each page.
Fill in the title that you’ve
chosen for your paper, your
name, your instructor’s
name and the date.
Prayer in Public Schools
Research Question: How have the courts weighed factors regarding the legality of prayer in
American public schools?
Thesis Statement: When considering prayer in public school cases, the courts have sought to
balance the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment in a way that
protects students’ right to pray individually and initiate religious activity but also protects
students from being pressured into participating in prayer or other religious activity in school.
Annotation 1: Scholarly Article 1:
Lain, C. B. (2015). God, civic virtue, and the American way: Reconstructing
Engel. Stanford Law Review, 67(3), 479-555. https://doi-org.proxy-
This scholarly article focuses on the Supreme Court case Engel v Vitale (decided in
1963), which set the precedent that state-sponsored prayer in school is unconstitutional.
The author argues that while the decision was originally seen as, and continues to be seen
as, protecting religious minorities from being forced to participate in the religious
practices of the religious majority, the Supreme Court Justices did not view it that way
during the decision making process. Rather, the Supreme Court Justices took into account
demographic changes (a significant increase in the Catholic population) as well as
cultural changes (a substantial decrease in anti-Semitism after the Holocaust) that had
created a more pluralistic society; they did not see themselves as protecting a religious
Remember to include your research question here.
Convert your research question into a thesis statement and type it here. For help, you
can refer to the Writing Center’s Thesis Statement Tutorial.
Be sure to
include all of
The APA-formatted reference for your scholarly article goes here. If you need help
with formatting, visit the Writing Center.
minority but as recognizing that there was not a prayer, no matter now bland and generic,
that could avoid offending some parties. In addition, the Supreme Court Justices looked
at the plain text of the First Amendment and determined that requiring public school
students to recite a state-written prayer was clearly endorsing religion. There was little
disagreement on these points as indicated by the 6-1 decision, with one vacancy on the
court and one justice too ill to participate in deliberations. The author used a variety of
sources as evidence for this article, including the text of this and other Supreme Court
decisions, quotes from an interview with Justice Black, many newspaper and magazine
articles from the time period as well as historical and legal books and journal articles.
Many of the sources that I’ve read mentioned the Engel v. Vitale decision and indicated
its importance to this issue but this journal article provides detailed explanation of why
and how the case began as well as the reasoning behind the decision, backed up a variety
of historical and legal sources.
The author thoroughly supported her points throughout the article with extensive sources.
In addition to the text of the decision and an interview with Justice Black, the author also
used the personal papers of Justice Black to support her argument. This article provides
relatively current information, having been published in 2015. A significant portion of the
evidence supporting the thesis from the original court case in the early 1960s but the
author also used more contemporary legal, scholarly, and news sources, all the way up to
the year before this article was published. The author has significant authority on this
topic as a Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of Richmond School of
Law. In addition, this article was published by the Stanford Law Review, which is well-
known and well-respected as a scholarly law journal. The most obvious limitation of this
You will copy
and paste the
for the two
your week 3
Be sure to
article is that it focuses on the Engel v Vitale ruling; a number of other court rulings, both
by the Supreme Court and by lower courts, are relevant to my research question but are
not addressed in this article. This journal article answers my research question by
explaining the reasoning behind the Engel v Vitale ruling, which set the original
precedent by which other religion in school cases were decided. It provides specific
information from the ruling and the historical context in which the ruling was made as
well as information about the public and media reaction to the ruling.
Annotation 2: Scholarly Article 2:
Warnick, B. R. (2012). Student rights to religious expression and the special
characteristics of schools. Educational Theory, 62(1), 59-74. https://doi-
In this scholarly peer-reviewed article, Warnick examines the difficulty in balancing two
different parts of the First Amendment of the Constitution, the Establishment Clause with
the Free Exercise Clause, to show why it is difficult to determine what religious activities
are permissible for students in the public school environment. The Establishment Clause
prevents any part of the government from establishing or endorsing religion while the
Free Exercise Clause guarantees individuals the right to freely engage in religious
activities. Within the public school environment, students have the right to engage in
student-initiated prayer or other religious activity. Student-initiated religious activity
must be accommodated by school officials and it is often accommodated by allowing the
use of school property and other resources, which may give the appearance of official
Only the first word of the title, the subtitle, and proper
nouns should be capitalized. Also, remember to italicize
the name of the journal.
endorsement of the religious activity. This can create difficulty in determining when
student-initiated religious activity has crossed the line into unconstitutional activity. The
author also argues that school are unique areas in American society because education is
compulsory, they serve a range of ages, and because students are expected to gain a wide
range of competencies, eventually becoming capable members of society who understand
how ideas (both religious and secular) function to produce political outcomes. These
three elements that make schools a special place in American society contribute to the
difficulty with balancing the Free Exercise Clause with the Establishment Clause and
make the issue particularly controversial. Warnick used many scholarly sources as
references. He cited numerous education, legal, and philosophy journal articles and
books to support his points as well as relevant Supreme Court cases. This article is
different from many of the sources I’ve read because it explains why the issue of
religious expression in schools is complicated, both from the viewpoint of allowing
students the freedom of expression in a constitutional way and from the viewpoint of
ensuring that students receive a complete educational experience.
In this article, the author argues that the issue of prayer and religious activity in public
school is nuanced and complex; he supports that thesis well by citing many educational,
legal and philosophical sources that validated each element of his argument. The article
was published in 2012, so it is relatively current. The author, Bryan R. Warnick, has
authority on this issue as professor of Philosophy of Education at Ohio State University.
The journal, Educational Theory, was founded in 1951 and is a peer-reviewed journal so
this article is credible. The article is interesting but limited in usefulness to me because
the factors that courts consider is not the main focus. Instead, the author discussed
how they fit
Be sure to
balancing the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Establishment Clause as part of a larger
discussion of the complexities of prayer and religious activities in public school. This
article answers my research question by explaining how the two clauses of the First
Amendment that are relevant to the issue of religious activity in public school, the Free
Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause, apply in a school setting and how they can
be difficult to reconcile.
Annotation 3: eBook:
Haiman, F. S. (2003). Religious Expression and the American Constitution. Michigan State
This eBook examines many different facets of the First Amendment of the Constitution,
generally focusing on how it has been applied in court cases related to religion in
American society and the evolution of First Amendment cases throughout American
history. Of particular relevance to my research question is chapter four, “Religious
Expression in Public Schools.” This chapter is broken into six parts, covering prayer in
school and school-sponsored events, the Pledge of Allegiance, use of school resources for
religious meetings outside of school hours, evolution curriculum, school officials’
religious expression, and censorship of library and curricular resources. The author
discusses many Supreme Court and lower court cases, arguing that schools, because they
are viewed as shaping young minds, are a particular focus of conflict over the proper
church-state balance. The courts have endeavored to both protect the rights of students
The title of the eBook should be italicized.
Because this eBook came from the UAGC Library database, no URL is included in the reference.
to focus on a
and faculty to freely exercise their chosen religion while also protect against state
coercion to engage in a specific religion (or any religion) or state endorsement of
religion. In general, the goal of the courts has been for the state to be neutral in regard to
religion and neither favor or disfavor either a specific religious sect or religious practice
over nonpractice. The author supported his points in this book by citing and referencing
Supreme Court and lower court cases, media reports, and scholarly legal articles. This
article is similar to other sources that I read on this topic in that it discusses some of the
same cases and made some similar points. However, it also discussed many lower court
cases that were not mentioned in other sources and it addressed issues beyond prayer and
student religious activities in school, like religious expression of school officials,
censorship of library and curriculum materials, and the teaching of evolution.
The thesis of the relevant chapter of this eBook is best summarized by saying that the
courts have worked to balance the rights enumerated in the First Amendment on various
religious issues that find their way into public schools. The author supported that thesis
well by exploring those various topics and explaining how court rulings have evolved
over time, building on precedent. Although the author cited some scholarly secondary
sources, the majority of sources cited and referenced are court cases, illustrating the focus
of the author on discussing court rulings. This eBook is less current than other sources
chosen for this project, having been published in 2003. However, it is still current enough
for this topic and contains significant useful information. The author, Franklyn S.
Haiman, was Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University.
He wrote additional scholarly works on the First Amendment and a national award for
freedom of expression was named in his honor. It would appear that he was an authority
of a topic so
on this issue. The eBook was published by the Michigan State University Press, which
indicates that this is a scholarly book and that it is a credible source. The limitation of
this source is primarily that it is older and so does not include any cases or scholarship
written since 2003. In addition, the author largely used court cases as sources; while
there are some scholarly secondary sources cited and referenced, there are clearly fewer
scholarly secondary sources used in this source than in other scholarly sources used for
this project. While this source provides a thorough history of the evolution of the history
of religion in public school cases, it does not place them in the context of the scholarly
discussion as well as other sources in the project. This eBook addresses my research
question by looking at issues beyond just prayer in public school. By examining other
issues that fall under the First Amendment legal umbrella, it is easier to see how the
courts have worked to find a balance between the Free Expression and Establishment
Clauses. In addition, because this eBook also discusses lower court cases, it was easier to
understand how the precedent set by the Supreme Court cases affected subsequent cases
that came before these courts.
Annotation 4: Non-Scholarly Source 1:
Linder, D. (n.d.). Exploring constitutional conflicts: Prayer in public schools. Exploring
This website was created by Doug Linder, a Professor of aw at the University of
Missouri-Kansas City Law School and it is designed to be an educational resource on
Be sure to
constitutional issues. This web page specifically addresses the issue of prayer in public
schools and it discusses four important Supreme Court cases: Engel v Vitale (1962),
Wallace v Jaffree (1985), Lee v Weisman (1992), and Santa Fe Independent School
District v Doe (2000). For each of the four cases, there is a paragraph describing the
specifics of each case and how the court ruled. The Engel v Vitale (1962) case concerned
student recitation of a state-written prayer, which the court ruled 6-1 was unconstitutional
regardless of whether students were given the option of opting out. In Wallace v Jaffree
(1985), the practice of providing a daily moment of silence along with the instruction that
students should use it for meditation or silent prayer was challenged and the justices
found it to be unconstitutional, 5 to 4. Of particular importance to this decision were
statements by legislators that their goal was to encourage students to pray. In the Lee v
Weisman (1992) case, the Supreme Court considered the practice of inviting clergy to
perform invocations and benedictions at public school graduations. The justices ruled 5-
4 that this was an unconstitutional practice. The Santa Fe Independent School District v
Doe (2000) case looked at student speech delivered at football games in one Texas school
district. Although the school policy did not specify that the speeches should be religious,
in practice the speeches were religious and students often prayed. In addition, because
the student speakers were selected by popular vote and the student body was majority
fundamentalist Christian, the speech reflected only that religious view. A majority of the
justices (6-3) decided that an observer was likely to conclude that the school officials
endorsed religious speech because it was delivered using school resources at a school
sponsored event and with the apparent approval of school officials. The author provided
links to the Supreme Court rulings for each of the cases that he discussed but did not
offer other supporting sources as evidence. However, as a Professor of Law, the author
has significant authority on this topic and his writing is credible. Although this web page
offers less detail on the specific cases than other sources that I’ve read, it provides a
useful and concise legal summary for four of the major prayer in public school cases and
shows how they are connected. Although the author provided only short summaries of
the cases, he also refrained from injecting personal opinion into his writing on the topic,
which was not the case for many other sources.
This web page highlights the limitations that the Establishment Clause puts on prayer in
public schools and, after explaining the basic facts of four Supreme Court cases on this
issue, asks the reader a series of questions meant to stimulate further thought on the issue.
There is not an argument presented by the author himself, only the decisions of the
Supreme Court in those four cases. The author provides a short summary of the cases
and links to the full cases, so he provides support for the arguments on the web page.
The author is a Law Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, so
he has authority on this topic. The web page is published by the University of Missouri-
Kansas City, so it is credible. The obvious limitation of this source is that it is very basic
and other sources provide more in-depth information. In addition, it is not clear when it
was published, nor is it clear when any of the linked sources were published so it is
impossible to determine currency. However, none of the information provided on the
web page will change as they get older. The web page answers my research question by
highlighting four major prayer in public school cases and explaining the legal basis on
which they were decided. While it does not provide all of the information that I need, it
they are or
are not an
does provide a summary of the four cases and an explanation of the basic framework that
the courts have used to decide these cases.
Annotation 5: Non-Scholarly Source 2:
Rogers, M. (2009, May 19). Justice Souter and the Supreme Court’s church-state
balance. The Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/justice-
This is an article on a think tank website that was written just after Supreme Court David
Souter stepped down from the Supreme Court and before President Obama named his
replacement. It discusses the positions that Justice Souter took on cases related to the
church-state balance with an eye toward how his replacement might change the future
Supreme Court rulings in this area. By looking at his writings in Supreme Court rulings
in cases specifically related to religion in public schools and in American society more
generally, the author argues that, while only one of nine justices, Justice Souter was a
strong voice on these matters and overall argued for more broad interpretations of both
the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. He was
concerned with protecting the rights of all Americans to practice their chosen religions,
even, and perhaps especially, if they practiced religions that departed from the norm. In
arguing for a strong interpretation of the Establishment Clause, he again was concerned
with the rights of believers of minority religions and of nonbelievers, but he also argued
that state endorsement of the majority religion would weaken its integrity. Essentially,
Justice Souter argued that the most effective way to protect Americans’ right to freely
Be sure to
engage in the religious activities of their choice was to prevent the government from any
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