The Unbibliography When Failure Is Not a Waste of Time

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Tolonda Henderson


The Unbibliography asks students to keep track of sources they thought they might use in an annotated bibliography assignment but ultimately rejected. Each discarded source is annotated with details about these two moments in the research process. The project also includes introductory comments reflecting on how the Unbibliography impacted the students’ experience of developing the Annotated Bibliography project. By highlighting and valuing a part of the research process that is typically regarded as failure, the Unbibliography allows students to reflect on the processes of evaluating sources and refining their research question. In this way, students are encouraged to grow from novice to experienced researchers.

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Henderson, T. (2024). The Unbibliography: When Failure Is Not a Waste of Time. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 8(1).