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High School Writing for Research Papers

Course Overview

The High School Research Writing Course will explore the research process from the prewriting stage to the revision stage. Students will plan and develop one research report, practicing and mastering each step of the research process before moving on to the next step. At the end of the class, students will be able to plan, develop, draft, and revise a research paper with parenthetical citations and Works Cited page, all utilizing MLA style. This course will prepare students for writing research reports for school assignments.


Course Objectives

Unit 1 – Choosing a Topic

Students explore why research is important. Students select a general topic for research, they make a list of key words to help search for information, and they find an overview of their topic.

Unit 2 – Gathering Information

Students become “research hounds” when they spend as much time as possible finding all the research available. This is probably the most time-consuming part of the research paper. Students refine their research subject and write a statement of purpose on their chosen topic.

Unit 3 – Compiling and Organizing Information

Students brainstorm questions about their focused topic, group questions under similar headings, and add any new questions. In this phase, students begin to create an outline. They also begin thinking about a thesis statement and a Works Cited page.

Unit 4 – Preparing to Write

After completing the outline, students start thinking about the first draft. Students list more key words, identify the best sources to use, begin making note cards, and create a “working” thesis statement. Brainstormed questions guide the note taking.

Unit 5 – Writing the Body of Your Paper

Students refocus the thesis statement if necessary and write the body of their paper from their outline and notes.

Unit 6 – Introduction, Conclusion, Citations

Students use this time to write the introduction and conclusion. It is also the time to include the parenthetical citations in the body paragraphs.

Unit 7 – Documenting Sources/Composing the Works Cited Page

Students spend this week finalizing the citations and completing the Works Cited page. Any parenthetical citations must have a corresponding listing on the Works Cited page. This is the part that trips up many a student when composing a research paper, so they spend this week working on overcoming any confusion or problem in this area.

Unit 8 – Final Draft

Students now must carefully evaluate, revise, and proofread their paper. This is one of the most important parts of the process, and it’s also the one that students tend to do too quickly. Once finished with the laborious writing of the research paper, they must go through this part of the process more than once in order to submit their very best work.

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