Bridge 4 (Intro to Research) | Urban Avatar

Assignment: Using your assigned street as a focus, craft a creative, braided essay that explores the full dimensionality of its past and present by weaving scholarly investigation; personal narrative and observation; creative analysis; cultural association; and specific thinking-on-the-page. With your group, explore the street in person. Then, explore the street through research in different contexts. Ask yourself: how might these different contexts connect? Be creative and lyrical. Ultimately, attempt to synthesize your research into some kind of point, or set of points. Look to Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, McPhee’s “The Search for Marvin Gardens” and Biss’s “Time and Distance Overcome” for models. In order to develop your thinking, the essay should use detailed, first-person observation coupled with a variety of kinds of authoritative and scholarly research, cited with footnotes that correspond to the sources listed in the annotated bibliography.

Annotated Bibliography

Each group will create ONE, SHARED standard, Chicago annotated bibliography with entries for every work used in the above essay, as well as works that you consulted for general reference that may not have been directly cited.


  • At least two (2) scholarly sources.
  • At least four (4) non-scholarly but authoritative sources.
  • Variety of kinds of sources that address different facets of street.



Reflection: Being my first ever research-based essay, Bridge 4 was an amazing learning experience. I am now super interested in doing deeper research on different parts of New York City. The peer critique and one-on-one critique with Professor Wilson were of tremendous help. They helped me organize and connect my essay in a more understandable manner. Overall, this essay helped me grow the most.

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