writing a middle school research paper

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Writing a middle school research paper scad thesis guidelines

Writing a middle school research paper

For example, writing a history research paper on the effects of slavery on the southern states is far too broad a topic, especially for a research paper that is between two and five pages. Instead, narrow down your topic to something a bit more manageable. Once you are done you need to conclude your paper with the concluding paragraph. This paragraph is where you mention your thesis statement again in a different way and mention your main reasons again.

By using these tips you will be well on your way to completing a great research paper for whichever class you are in. Homepage Cover page. After you have your topic, you should follow these rules for writing the research paper: The first is writing a thesis statement.

The thesis explains what your paper is about and what problem you are trying to answer. You want the thesis statement to be the last sentence of your introduction. The introduction is the first paragraph which gives the reader background. So if your topic relates to slavery then your introduction might include a sentence about what slavery was in America and how long it lasted.

After the introduction you want the body of the research paper. Divide your time into mini assignments, print the calendar, and hang it someplace you'll see it often. Use your judgment based on the assignment and how you do your best work, but a good rough estimate for how to divide up your time is:. So, if you have a month to write a paper, you might spend about 3 days brainstorming, a full week each for researching and writing, and 5 to 6 days each on your outline and revision.

An outline is a roadmap to keep you from getting lost when you start to write. It's where you organize the questions you'll answer and the information and subtopics you'll cover in your paper. It's a tool to help you, not another assignment to check off the list.

There are lots of ways to make an outline and it makes sense to try out different versions to see what works for you. Here are some examples:. Once you've got your topic, research, and outline in hand, it's time to start writing.

In your introduction, sometimes called your thesis statement or lead paragraph, you'll outline exactly what someone reading this paper can expect to learn from it. It's a tantalizing look at all the neat stuff the reader can look forward to finding out about. Don't worry about getting the first sentences absolutely perfect on your first try. Sometimes it's better to keep writing and adjust later. Your introduction will usually be between one and three paragraphs long and will act almost like a summary of the topics to come.

Every paragraph tells a story, or at least it should. There should be a point to it, a piece of information you're explaining. Often the first sentence of the paragraph will serve as a bridge or link from the previous paragraph and as an introduction to what the new paragraph is about.

The next few sentences will provide examples or information to back up the first sentence. You have time specifically put aside for revision, but as you write do keep in mind that every sentence should have a reason for being and that reason is to support the paragraph as a whole.

Likewise, every paragraph should have information that helps give meaning to the topic. Extra words and ideas are sure to sneak in there and clutter up your writing. It's your job to keep those words and sentences out of your paper.

There's a fine balance between providing enough explanation and examples and making your paper unclear with extra words and thoughts. A good conclusion is related to a good introduction. They're like cousins, not entirely the same, but with many of the same qualities. At the end of the paper, you're wrapping up all your ideas and reminding the reader of what he learned. There usually isn't new information; it's more about revisiting the big ideas. A conclusion is often just a paragraph long or it might be two or three.

Imagine saying to your reader, "As you can see from reading my paper…" The rest of that statement is the end of your paper.

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Note: The most important strategy in using this model is that students be allowed, within the assigned topic framework, to ask their own research questions. Introduce the characteristics of a good research question. Explain that in a broad area such as political science, psychology, geography, or economics, a good question needs to focus on a particular controversy or perspective.

How has glass affected human culture? What is the history of cheerleading? Explain that students should take care not to formulate a research question so broad that it cannot be answered, or so narrow that it can be answered in a sentence or two. Note that a good question always leads to more questions. Invite students to suggest additional questions resulting from the examples above and from the Example Research Paper Scaffold.

Emphasize that good research questions are open-ended. Open-ended questions can be solved in more than one way and, depending upon interpretation, often have more than one correct answer, such as the question, Can virtue be taught? Closed questions have only one correct answer, such as, How many continents are there in the world? Open-ended questions are implicit and evaluative, while closed questions are explicit.

This question is too narrow for a five-page paper as it can be answered in just a few words. How does color affect mood? Instruct students to fill in the first section of the Research Paper Scaffold, the Research Question, before Session 2. This task can be completed in a subsequent class session or assigned as homework. Allowing a few days for students to refine and reflect upon their research question is best practice.

Explain that the next section, the Hook, should not be filled in at this time, as it will be completed using information from the literature search. Session 2: Literature Review—Search. Introduce this session by explaining that students will collect five articles that help to answer their research question. Once they have printed out or photocopied the articles, they will use a highlighter to mark the sections in the articles that specifically address the research question.

This strategy helps students focus on the research question rather than on all the other interesting—yet irrelevant—facts that they will find in the course of their research. Point out that the five different articles may offer similar answers and evidence with regard to the research question, or they may differ.

The final paper will be more interesting if it explores different perspectives. Demonstrate the use of any relevant subscription databases that are available to students through the school, as well as any Web directories or kid-friendly search engines such as KidzSearch that you would like them to use.

Remind students that their research question can provide the keywords for a targeted Internet search. The question should also give focus to the research—without the research question to anchor them, students may go off track. Explain that information found in the articles may lead students to broaden their research question. A good literature review should be a way of opening doors to new ideas, not simply a search for the data that supports a preconceived notion. Make students aware that their online search results may include abstracts, which are brief summaries of research articles.

In many cases the full text of the articles is available only through subscription to a scholarly database. Provide examples of abstracts and scholarly articles so students can recognize that abstracts do not contain all the information found in the article, and should not be cited unless the full article has been read. Internet articles need to be printed out, and articles from print sources need to be photocopied. Each article used on the Research Paper Scaffold needs to yield several relevant facts, so students may need to collect more than five articles to have adequate sources.

Remind students to gather complete reference information for each of their sources. They may wish to photocopy the title page of books where they find information, and print out the homepage or contact page of websites. Allow students at least a week for research. Schedule time in the school media center or the computer lab so you can supervise and assist students as they search for relevant articles.

Students can also complete their research as homework. Session 3: Literature Review—Notes. Have students find the specific information in each article that helps answer their research question, and highlight the relevant passages. Check that students have correctly identified and marked relevant information before allowing them to proceed to the Literature Review section on the Research Paper Scaffold. Instruct students to complete the Literature Review section of the Research Paper Scaffold, including the last name of the author and the publication date for each article to prepare for using APA citation style.

Have students list the important facts they found in each article on the lines numbered 1—5, as shown on the Example Research Paper Scaffold. Additional facts can be listed on the back of the handout. Remind students that if they copy directly from a text they need to put the copied material in quotation marks and note the page number of the source.

Note: Students may need more research time following this session to find additional information relevant to their research question. Explain that interesting facts that are not relevant for the literature review section can be listed in the section labeled Hook. Facts listed in the Hook section can be valuable for introducing the research paper. Use the Example Research Paper Scaffold to illustrate how to fill in the first and last lines of the Literature Review entry, which represent topic and concluding sentences.

These should be filled in only after all the relevant facts from the source have been listed, to ensure that students are basing their research on facts that are found in the data, rather than making the facts fit a preconceived idea. Then have students complete the other four sections of the Literature Review Section in the same manner. Session 4: Analysis. Explain that in this session students will compare the information they have gathered from various sources to identify themes.

Explain the process of analysis using the Example Research Paper Scaffold. Show how making a numbered list of possible themes, drawn from the different perspectives proposed in the literature, can be useful for analysis. In the Example Research Paper Scaffold, there are four possible explanations given for the effects of color on mood. Remind students that they can refer to the Example Student Research Paper for a model of how the analysis will be used in the final research paper.

Have students identify common themes and possible answers to their own research question by reviewing the topic and concluding sentences in their literature review. Students may identify only one main idea in each source, or they may find several. Instruct students to list the ideas and summarize their similarities and differences in the space provided for Analysis on the scaffold. Return the Research Paper Scaffolds to students with comments and corrections. Note: In the finished research paper, the analysis section will be about one paragraph.

Session 5: Original Research. During this session, students formulate one or more possible answers to the research question based upon their analysis for possible testing. Invite students to consider and briefly discuss the following questions: How can you tell whether the ideas you are reading are true? If there are two or more solutions to a problem, which one is the best? Researchers verify the validity of their findings by devising original research to test them, but what kind of test works best in a given situation?

Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative methods involve the collection of numeric data, while qualitative methods focus primarily on the collection of observable data. Quantitative studies have large numbers of participants and produce a large collection of data such as results from people taking a question survey.

Qualitative methods involve more detailed interviews and artifact collection. Show how the research question in the Example Research Paper Scaffold goes beyond what is reported in a literature review and adds new information to what is already known. The test must be safe, both physically and mentally, for those involved. This means no unsupervised, dangerous experiments.

Parental approval should be obtained see Permission Form. The number of subjects should be kept to multiples of 10, so it is easier to report the data statistically. If the research involves a survey An equal number of male and female participants should be included if possible. A wide range of ages should be included if possible. The survey should have no more than 10 questions.

The survey form should include an introduction that states why the survey is being conducted and what the researcher plans to do with the data. Inform students of the schedule for submitting their research plans for approval and completing their original research. Students need to conduct their tests and collect all data prior to Session 6.

Normally it takes one day to complete research plans and one to two weeks to conduct the test. Session 6: Results optional. If students have conducted original research, instruct them to report the results from their experiments or surveys. Quantitative results can be reported on a chart, graph, or table. Qualitative studies may include data in the form of pictures, artifacts, notes, and interviews. Study results can be displayed in any kind of visual medium, such as a poster, PowerPoint presentation, or brochure.

Check the Results section of the scaffold and any visuals provided for consistency, accuracy, and effectiveness. Session 7: Conclusion. This section may be one to two paragraphs. Remind students that it should include supporting facts from both the literature review and the test results if applicable. Encourage students to use the Conclusion section to point out discrepancies and similarities in their findings, and to propose further studies.

Discuss the Conclusion section of the Example Research Paper Scaffold from the standpoint of these guidelines. Check the Conclusion section after students have completed it, to see that it contains a logical summary and is consistent with the study results. Session 8: References and Writing Final Draft. Show students how to create a reference list of cited material, using a model such as American Psychological Association APA style, on the Reference section of the scaffold.

Distribute copies of the Internet Citation Checklist and have students refer to the handout as they list their reference information in the Reference section of the scaffold. Use your judgment based on the assignment and how you do your best work, but a good rough estimate for how to divide up your time is:.

So, if you have a month to write a paper, you might spend about 3 days brainstorming, a full week each for researching and writing, and 5 to 6 days each on your outline and revision. An outline is a roadmap to keep you from getting lost when you start to write. It's where you organize the questions you'll answer and the information and subtopics you'll cover in your paper.

It's a tool to help you, not another assignment to check off the list. There are lots of ways to make an outline and it makes sense to try out different versions to see what works for you. Here are some examples:. Once you've got your topic, research, and outline in hand, it's time to start writing. In your introduction, sometimes called your thesis statement or lead paragraph, you'll outline exactly what someone reading this paper can expect to learn from it.

It's a tantalizing look at all the neat stuff the reader can look forward to finding out about. Don't worry about getting the first sentences absolutely perfect on your first try. Sometimes it's better to keep writing and adjust later. Your introduction will usually be between one and three paragraphs long and will act almost like a summary of the topics to come.

Every paragraph tells a story, or at least it should. There should be a point to it, a piece of information you're explaining. Often the first sentence of the paragraph will serve as a bridge or link from the previous paragraph and as an introduction to what the new paragraph is about. The next few sentences will provide examples or information to back up the first sentence. You have time specifically put aside for revision, but as you write do keep in mind that every sentence should have a reason for being and that reason is to support the paragraph as a whole.

Likewise, every paragraph should have information that helps give meaning to the topic. Extra words and ideas are sure to sneak in there and clutter up your writing. It's your job to keep those words and sentences out of your paper. There's a fine balance between providing enough explanation and examples and making your paper unclear with extra words and thoughts. A good conclusion is related to a good introduction.

They're like cousins, not entirely the same, but with many of the same qualities. At the end of the paper, you're wrapping up all your ideas and reminding the reader of what he learned. There usually isn't new information; it's more about revisiting the big ideas. A conclusion is often just a paragraph long or it might be two or three. Imagine saying to your reader, "As you can see from reading my paper…" The rest of that statement is the end of your paper.

Here's a secret: writing is hard, but revising effectively might be even harder.

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Write about a historical battle, which was in vain? Describe in chronological order all events which happened during the war. Does graduation from a university make you well-educated? Effective methods to improve memory? How our everyday actions affect the environment. Reasons for people to aim for starting a family. Buying clothes online: Pros and Cons. How to protect your personal data during online purchases? How to reduce the unemployment rate? Working methods to motivate kids to protect the environment.

What would people do without their mobile phones? What are the reasons for some people to like the smell of petrol or paints? Effective methods to make a good memory out of a bad one. Why do a husband and a wife look similar after some years of marriage? Should children be punished for bad marks? How to convince your parents to buy you a gift? Why do animals like sweets, but are not allowed to eat them?

Is there a magic pill to cure one of laziness? How to live in harmony with your loved ones? How to save money and sleep tight? Books to read for self-development. How to protect yourself from smartphone addiction? Describe a movie with a city starring. How to be always in a good mood? Do rich people save on something? What will happen to our planet in 50 years? How to help poor people from undeveloped countries with education?

Unusual Research Paper Topics for Middle School How to persuade your parents that you are grown-up enough to make your own decisions? What are the consequences of drinking a lot of coffee? What new laws can help reduce crimes? How to inspire people to read books?

In what way does a community influence a child? Who should look after kids if both parents need to work? How to be independent in a marriage? Suitable jobs for students, which bring much money. What to do if you feel like falling ill: Working tips. Most unusual explanations for being late for school. Entrust your Research Paper to our Team To create a decent research paper, you have to spend a significant amount of time.

Special offer for you! Amber Smith from Webb Elementary School. Location: Informational Text: Writing. Objective: Students will be able to develop questions to guide their research. Objective: Students will find sources that support their topic of research. Objective: The students will write the rough draft of their research paper. Sandra Wallach from Oak Middle School. Location: The Breadwinner. Objective: The students will be able to read and comprehend the novel The Breadwinner , by Deborah Ellis as well as gain an understanding of life in Afghanistan durin….

Jennifer Dodd. Location: Drama The Taming of the Shrew. Objective: 1. Employ block quotes to set off long longer than 4 typed lines citations 2. Employ ellipses to r…. Location: 5th Grade Writing Kevin Kloth from Savannah Middle.

Location: Thesis statement. Grade Level. Middle School Research Writing and Practices. Sixth grade Seventh grade, Eighth grade 2 more Fifth grade 50, Views. Fifth grade. Middle School 1, Views. Middle School. Fifth grade 24, Views.

Fifth grade 15, Views. Fifth grade 10, Views. Erin Greenwood. Standards: WHST. Resources Reflections 1.

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How to give up bad battles over a conversation. About Us Careers Support Blog. How to save money and. Effective methods to make a but are not allowed to eat them. What are the reasons for some people to like the smell of petrol or paints. How to protect yourself from. Sixth grade Seventh grade, Eighth make you well-educated. Buying clothes online: Pros and. Reasons for people to aim Alexander the Great took part. Favorites Complete, standards-aligned curriculum from.

craft a clear and concise thesis. locate and identify appropriate material for research. use the note card system for taking notes.