• The Research Paper Project


    Length:       Minimum of 3-4 pages of text PLUS a Works Cited Page; minimum 6 paragraphs of text. The paper may also contain photos or other graphics but they are NOT COUNTED as part of the 4 page minimum!
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    Research Paper Basic Requirements

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    Summary of Research Assignment 1 - Body Paragraph

    Research Paper I -  Body Paragraph.
    Quickwrite: Write for 15 minutes and get onto paper everything you know, think you know or can ask a question about your topic.
    Article: Find a news article (from a magazine or newspaper) that directly addresses your specific topic. Make sure it is from a reputable magazine or newspaper and is NOT an editorial or opinion piece. I prefer that it come from an actual printed source, but I will accept a print out of an online source if it is complete.
    Paragraph: Write a body paragraph including a topic sentence, signal phrase, summary or quote from a source, citation, commentary, and a second source on the same topic with all of those same elements.


    Research Paper II - Outline and Thesis
    First, write a Controlling Question - a complex question based on the Topic and sub-topics you find on your topic assignment paper.  Don't try to include all of the subtopics, but focus on the part of the topic you find most interesting, then create a question that will drive your research.
    Ex: For the topic of autism, I created the question:
        "What exactly is autism, and why has the number of diagnosed cases risen so sharply in recent years?"
    From this question I created my outline, with 4 Roman numerals (you could use more than that, I just used 4 because it seemed about right for this topic based on the controlling question) and under each Roman numeral, 2 capital letters (A and B) with two or more numbers under each capital letter.
    Break down your topic into major questions, and then ask more probing questions in the letters and numbers underneath the major Roman numeral questions.
    Below is a partial, sample outline--of course, where the letters or numbers are left blank, there must be more questions. And it is possible to expand on the outline more than I have done in the sample:
    (Controlling Question)
    What exactly is Autism, and why has the number of diagnosed cases risen so sharply in recent years?
         I. Define Autism
              A. What is the current, agreed-upon definition?
                  1. When was it first identified and by whom?
                   2. How has the definition changed over the years?
                   3. What are the major indictors of the condition?
              B. Is there universal agreement on what autism is?
                   1. Do some doctors feel it is not really a disease?
                   2. Is there disagreement on the different versions or variations of the condition?
         II. History of the Disease
              A. When was it first diagnosed and what led to the identification of it?
              B. What are statistics that show the recent rise in number of cases?
        III. Why the rapid increase in recent years?
              A. Why is it happening? What are the theories?
              B. Is there disagreement on number of cases?
         IV. What treatments are there for the condition and what is the future of treatment?
              A. Is there a Genetic treatment being tried? Stem Cells?
              B. Are there environmental factors that are leading to treatments?

    Thesis Statement
    Create a comprehensive Thesis statement for your Research Paper. The Thesis should answer, in a general way, the major questions you asked in your Controlling Question of your Outline.  A good Thesis will be specific without being too detailed.
    Click on the link below to see the 3 examples of the Thesis statements we looked at together on the PowerPoint slide show:

    Research III - 4 Articles (This may or may not be collected as a separate assignment)
    Once you have completed your Outline and Working Thesis statement, find one good, comprehensive article for each of your roman numerals in your outline--4 articles altogether.
    Label each article to show which section of your outline it covers and the show me the articles along with your outline.
    NOTE: Many articles will cover information for more than one section of your topic; label each part of the article accordingly, but you must bring me at least four articles.

    Take Notes from all of your source articles and create note cards for each one. Add observational (or analytical) sentences to each note to help your prepare those notes to use in your paper.
    Click on the link below to see the PowerPoint we viewed in class on adding observational sentences:

    In-Text Citation and Weaving of Quotes:
    Click on the links below to see the samples that we looked at in class:
    In-Text Citation  - The basics on introducting a source with a signal phrase, plus the correct way to cite the source afterward.
    Introducing and Citing a Source - This sample shows your how to introduce a source with signal phrase and then use a summary or paraphrase of information, followed by a correct in-line citation of the source.
    Weaving Sources into Text - This sample shows how to signal a source, then "weave" a quote from that source into your own sentence so it sounds natural and avoids the dreaded, "dropped quote" that will result in the loss of five points for each one in your paper.
    Synthesizing Two or More Sources in a Paragraph - This sample shows you how to work in two or more sources into your paragraph to give it more than one perspective on the topic. Remember you must signal each source, weave in quotes or use a paraphrase, and then cite the source accurately.


       Get another perspective!
    Below is a PowerPoint Slide Show in PDF format from another school district that sums up all of the elements of a research paper.
    Some small details may be different from what you have heard in class, but overall the format and particulars are the same.
    It may help to see how someone  else organizes the task!
    Click on the link below to see:
    Research Paper PowerPoint From South View High School in PDF Format

    Click on the link below to  see the handout on formatting, page numbers, Works Cited:
Last Modified on May 7, 2024