You are part of a team of four partners that has been tasked by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to give a presentation to a panel of business owners and community stakeholders about whether or not Chicago should continue to embrace the trend of “green roofs.” Generally, they want to know the following  information:

  • What are green roofs?
  • What are the advantages of green roofs?
  • What are the disadvantages of green roofs?
  • Why might there be confusion about green roofs?
  • Are there equally advantageous alternatives?
  • Should Chicago ultimately keep investing in green roofs?


Learning Objectives

Critically evaluate information then summarize, annotate, cite, and organize articles for a specific presentation goal.


The Team will:

+ read the listed sources to investigate the above questions

+ evaluate the sources for usability using the source rubric

+ compose annotated bibliography entries for each source

+ prepare an “executive summary” that recommends a course of action and provides reasons for that decision



The following guidelines will help you and your team answer the CCC’s questions:

1. Each team member will choose one article from the database and two articles from the open Internet to read, evaluate, summarize, and cite.

2. Not all sources will serve to answer every question. It is up to each individual team member to determine which research question(s) are best answered by which source(s).

3. After reading each source, make a judgment of usability by consulting the source rubric below.

4. Annotate it using the example posted below. Take care to explain why the article is usable or not.

5. Submit your individual efforts to me by Thursday at midnight, and I will provide feedback and suggestions.

6. The final product is a collaborative annotated bibliography and executive summary due two weeks after the individual works are due (see below for specifics).

7. Each member will be evaluated for both team and individual efforts. Thus, corrections you make for the final project will offset a lower individual grade. 

8. The grade is out of 100: 50 points for the individual work and 50 points for the final product.

9. Do not hesitate to ask questions throughout the project. The best way to contact me is via email.



Course Tools  

Use the resources on the Research Skills page under “Critically Evaluating Sources” and “Using Sources” to guide you.

The Source Rubric

Composing a Summary in Three Steps

Composing Annotated Bibliography Entries


Log into EBSCO to read these articles:

Social Capital Networks for Achieving Sustainable Development

Green-Roof Effects on Neighborhood Microclimate and Human Thermal Sensation

Green Roof Mitigation for a Proxy Future Climate Scenario in Chicago, Illinois

Rethinking the Green Roof


Access these articles on the open Internet:

Building a Sustainable Region

Common Sense Environmentalism

Why Artificial Grass is More Sustainable Than Real Grass

The Benefits and Challenges of Green Roofs on Commercial and Public Buildings

Quantifying Air Pollution Removal by Green Roofs in Chicago

Heads up on Green Roofs:  How Chicago is Doing

White Roofs vs. Green Roofs: Recent Reports Declaring a Victor Overlook that Both are Wins for the Environment

Green Roofs: Are They Worth the Expense?


Finished Product

Your executive summary should be 3/4-1 page in length, should recommend a course of action, and should provide cited reasons/evidence backing up the recommendation.  Your annotated bibliography entries should each be 1/4-1/2 page in length and should adhere to this format. For help summarizing your sources, please see this guide.



Your grade will based on the following criteria:

1. 50 points: Individual annotations. I will be looking for a clear summary of the parts of the source relevant to at least one of the specific areas of inquiry, an evaluation of usability supported by the source rubric, clear communication and grammatically/syntactically correct writing.

2. 50 points: Group/Final Project. I will be looking for an executive summary that synthesizes the different sources, a logical order of the sources (whatever that may be according to your group’s thinking), a statement of action to be taken, and coherency of style among all entries.