Project #33: Research Project

Project:#33 Research Project

Your Research Paper will be published on your webpage. Use these resources to help you.


Modelling is always a good way to start. I use the SmartBoard. An LCD projector is good. An overhead is good. Printouts and a blackboard are good. Essentially you want to show the scholars how to paraphrase. Hear what Kim has to say,

I have students bring in a news article pertaining to something that they will be writing an opinion piece about. They are to have read through the article and are to have highlighted what they believe are the main ideas, names, etc. Then they create a graphic organizer, usually a map, of the highlighted items.

I bring in an article and model using an overhead. Last year I used an article on human cloning (remember that controversy about the group that said it had cloned a human). Anyway I draw a circle in the middle of the page and write the word cloning (or the major topic of the article). Then I draw lines and circles filled with the other highlights. I encourage students to use just two or three words to capture the idea (not the exact words from the article.)

Then I collect the articles and have the students write summaries from their mapping notes. (I don't tell them ahead of time they will be summarizing because if I do they'll probably write more from the article and less from their own head.)

I got this idea from Betty Hicks of Blue Springs High School at Missouri's Write to Learn Conference. It has worked well because students are able to summarize in their own words the major points. I have much trouble with plagiarizing because students rely too much on the text. But without the text in front of them and just their notes, they do quite well.

Though I use as a prewriting for an opinion piece, I think the activity would work with any summary assignment. We also work on MLA citations and taking direct quotes from the article. I have students write down one or two direct quotes that they can use in their opinion piece. Good luck.

Kim Chism Jasper
Stockton High School
Stockton, MO

  • Paraphrasing Tips. Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Quoting.
  • Paraphrasing Tips. What is the correct way to quote and paraphrase?
  • Paraphrasing Tips. TIPS FOR PARAPHRASING
  • Quoting, Paraphrasing & Summarising

    Have you tried giving them a model paragraph that shows how to introduce a quote, include the quote, give a reason the quote is included, and explain the quote, all the while connecting it to the main idea they are trying to get across? Perhaps four or five such paragraphs as models for them to keep might work. They might begin (as with the 5-paragraph essay) by trying to copy the format of the paragraphs esactly, but once they learn to do this, it should become easier and they probably won't worry too much if their paragraph has five or seven sentences while the model had six.

    Sample Model Paragraph:
    [Sentence 1: Transition from previous paragraph] Thoreau, however, is not necessarily interested in actually living in nature to the extent that he would be camping out. [Sentence 2: Lead-in to the quote] He writes about building his house, and the fact that it protected him from the elements. [Sentence 3: Includes quote] "I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July," he says, "as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain . . . ." [Sentence 4: Tells why you include this quote] As you can see, he was careful in the way he constructed his house, and he did wish to be protected from the elements when necessary. [Sentence 5: Adds more information to strengthen the support] It is also interesting that he did not actually move to the woods until this house was ready for him to live in. [Sentence 6: Reminder of how this relates to your main idea] So it is apparent that while he loved nature, he wasn't living in a cave, or even a tent.

    Just an idea.
    Susan Erickson

    Research Unit Ideas from Tina

    How about focusing the unit a bit, like having students research a person of their choice (even more focused- a "hero"), or a specific event in U.S. history (even more focused- an aspect of the Vietnam War), so that it may be easier for you to gather resources or bookmark webpages for a couple of days in the computer lab. What do you want the purpose of their writing to be; to inform (the struggles and the rise of a certain national leader) or to persuade (Vietnam was a product of the Cold War). You can take them step by step; using and evaluating references, taking notes/using notecards, how to cite references, how to keep from plagiarizing, fact vs. opinion, creating an outline, supporting detail, etc.

    It may help to expand your own knowledge of doing research. Plug these key words into a search engine and see what you get:

      lessons + research
      lessons + inquiry
      inquiry + based + instruction
      units + research
      study + skills
    Good luck!
    Tina D
    NCTE-Talk list 123003

  • RESEARCH PAPER PACKET from studyguide
  • Steps in Writing the Research Paper
  • Writing the Research paper from Purdue's OWL
  • See The Module Maker by Jamie McKenzie for help. It represents an exciting new way to structure and guide student research efforts so they will focus upon higher level thinking and rich electronic resources along with good print resources like books and live data from sources such as interviews. Reseach modules can be an effective way of addressing the most challenging new state standards.

    Keeping track of info. On a piece of paper or index card or on your computer keep the information of your sources.
    What you need:

    • Author(s) name. Last, First
    • Title of piece read. If part of whole like chapter in book, an article in magazine or newspaper use quotes around it. if it is its own piece like a book then underline it.
    • Title of book, magazine and the like from which the piece was found. Underline this title.
    • Publisher Name.
    • City nearest you right now in which it was published.
    • Latest publication date.
    • Pages from which you extract the quote or pages you used to paraphrase, put in your own words or refer to ideas.
    • URL and date viewed
    • If you are photocopying pages from a source, you may want to photocopy the pages in the beginning which have title and publication info so you have them for later purposes and so I can help you or someone else can.
    • We will discuss the final format of this later. What is most importnat though is that you have this information on and for each of your sources.
    • Explore making citations.


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      Survival of Auschwitz
      The Reawakening

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