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I HATE you research paper!





What is a Research Paper?

A research paper presents the results of your investigations on a selected topic. Based on your own thoughts and the facts and ideas you have gathered from a variety of sources, a research paper is a creation that is uniquely yours. The experience of gathering, interpreting, and documenting information, developing and organizing ideas and conclusions, and communicating them clearly will prove to be an important and satisfying part of your education

7 th grade topic the holocaust
7th Grade Topic: The Holocaust

Now that your broad topic is chosen, you can begin to gather information from authoritative reference sources: pertinent books, encyclopedias, and articles in magazines, journals, and magazines. Mrs. Ulloa and her staff will be happy to show you how to use the various research tools within the library and may suggest other sources of information. Important new resources are now available to you through electronic services which provide many learning and reference tools as well as access to the Internet, where you can often discover an abundance of information. Be very careful with the internet, as not all sources are safe to use. It is imperative that for this assignment all students use at least one book, encyclopedia, and website. Wikipedia is not an accepted website/reference source. Any research paper turned in linked to Wikipedia will receive an automatic “F.”

8 th grade topic heroes and their journeys
8th Grade Topic: Heroes and their Journeys

You will choose a movie that fits the Hero's Journey motif, and you will write a research paper that demonstrates how the character fits the profile by providing analysis and textual evidence to back up your interpretation.

what aspect of the holocaust are you going to research
What aspect of the Holocaust are you going to research?
  • -Causes
  • -People Involved
  • -A Specific Survivor and his/her story
  • -Conditions
  • -Judaism
  • -Hitler
  • -The Nazis
  • -One Specific Concentration Camp
  • -Any other topic needs to be approved by the teacher
hero movies that can be used
Hero Movies that can be used:
  • -Batman
  • -Spiderman
  • -Superman
  • -The Lion King
  • Finding Nemo
  • October Sky
  • Star Wars
  • Brave Heart
  • Iron man
  • The Hulk
  • -X-Men
  • Please run any other ideas by your teacher for approval.
what is due next class
What is due next class?

On November 2nd & 3rd the following will be due from each student:

1. A Duotang Folder with prongs and pockets.

2. The main focus of your research paper.

7th Grade – What aspect of the Holocaust are you going to research? Bring your two books, Encyclopedia and one internet source

8th Grade – What Hero will you focus on? Bring your two books, movie and one internet source


By now lightening should have struck and you should have a topic for your research paper.

The next step is conducting your research…


STEP 1: Determine the purpose of your paper.

  • STEP 2 – Choose a specific topic.
  • STEP 3– Locate resources and materials.



This lady is going to be your new BEST FRIEND. She is your neighborhood friendly LIBRARIAN.

This lady is a virtual “walking encyclopedia” of information waiting to answer your questions and help you.

This lady knows the location of the resources in the library, understands how to use the computers (hopefully), and can suggest other ways to find quick, reliable information.


the research in your paper
The “Research” In Your Paper
  • Writing a research paper requires that you learn to find and use print and electronic resources and materials.
  • Your research paper must have a minimum of THREE (3) resources including, but not limited to: one ENCYCLOPEDIAresource, one BOOKresource and one INTERNETresource. *** 8th grade students will replace the encyclopedia with a movie.


  • There are many different sets of encyclopedias, so take time to browse through and become acquainted with them.
  • An encyclopedia offers a variety of articles (usually brief) on many different subjects.
  • Often encyclopedias can be found on a CD-ROM. Using a digital encyclopedia allows you to search easily for a particular topic.

Books and Journals

  • Check out books about your topic from the library.
  • Make copies of the pages you wish to use and keep in your folder.

What the heck is the internet?

The Internet

It is extremely important to evaluate your sources when using the internet. Some Web sites contain accurate news articles while others are unreliable.

To determine the authenticity of a Web site:

  • Read the Web address or URL. You can usually rely on Web addresses which end in “.gov” or “.edu.”
  • Learn about the author/publisher. Most reliable Web pages will provide the following information: name, address, telephone number and email address of the page owner, the last date the page was updated , and a link for questions and comments.
  • Ask your librarian, parent or me if you are uncertain about the accuracy of a Web site.

Wikipedia is not a permissible resource.

Any research paper turned in with a Wikipedia resource with receive an





Getting Started…

Here are some search engines that will help with you with your research:

      • A research guide for students. Lists search engines.
      • Librarian's Internet Index
      • Multi-source search engine
      • Google Scholar
      • Scholarly Internet Resource Collections
      • A targeted search engine compiling hundreds of thousands of authoritative resources from university, government, and established noncommercial providers.

7th Grade:

      • History Crawler

STEP 1: Determine the purpose of your paper.

  • STEP 2 – Choose a specific topic.
  • STEP 3– Locate resources and materials.
  • STEP 4– Prepare bibliography cards


bibliography cards
Bibliography Cards
  • For a book with a single author:

1. Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name

2. Title of the Book

3. Place of Publication (City)

4. Name of Publisher

5. Year of Publication (most recent)

Remember your bibliography cards are not shopping lists! Follow the guidelines in your packets.


Curtin, Jeremiah. Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland. Boston: Little, Brown, 1890.

bibliography cards1
Bibliography Cards
  • For an encyclopedia article with an author:

1. Name of Author of article (if given)

2. Title of Article (in quotation marks)

3. Title of Encyclopedia (underlined)

4. Year of Publication (most recent)

Remember your bibliography cards are not shopping lists! Follow the guidelines in your packets.


Kendall, Paul M. “Richard III”. World Book Encyclopedia.1993 ed.

bibliography cards2
Bibliography Cards
  • For a Website:

1. Name of author/editors(s)(if given)

2. Name of Website (underlined)

3. Name of sponsoring institution or organization (if available)

4. Date of your Access (not followed by comma or period)

5. Give the URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

Remember your bibliography cards are not shopping lists! Follow the guidelines in your packets.


Graham, Sadie. Training your pet. Dog Lovers of America. 16 Oct. 2006.


Taking Notes

Not this type of note!


As you examine each source, make a separate note of each fact or quotation you might want to use in your paper. You will need to use index cards when preparing notes. Be sure to identify the source of the information on the listing (include the author's name and page number on which the information

appears). Try to summarize the information in

your own words (paraphrasing);

use quotation marks if you copy the

Information exactly. (This rule should apply

whether you are copying a great deal of

material or only a phrase.) Give each listing

a simple descriptive heading.


Helpful Hints for Taking Notes:

Write in the top left-hand corner of card a word or phrase the summarizes the information on the note card. Write only on the front side of the note card.

Write the Number of the bibliography card you made for the source of the information in the top right-hand corner of the new note card.

Write the information on the note card in your own words (in other words, paraphrase). Write only one idea per note card. Do not write notes from two sources on the same card.

If you must use quoted material, write the material enclosed in quotation marks. Limit your use of direct quotes when taking notes. You want to demonstrate that you are capable of expressing ideas in your own words.

At the bottom of every note card, write the page number of the source from which you gathered the information.

sample note card
Sample Note Card

Remember to add the source number in the upper right corner of your index card.


List the points you wish to make

Once you have all of your resources, you are ready to list all of the points that you wish to make in the research paper.

When making this list, begin to think about a purpose statementor the main idea you will be writing about.

This will eventually become the THESIS statement of your paper.


Listing your points: What to Do

Place all of your note cards into stacks according to their topics/subjects (should be written on the left corner of the card). After reviewing your topics, decide whether they are too broad, too narrow, or perfect. Make any changes that are necessary.

Begin listing your points based on the information that you have on your cards. As you do this, keep in mind the **main idea** that you would like your paper to have. Remember that the focus question should be a part of your paper’s purpose. Together, this will eventually become your thesis statement.

Take 10 minutes to QUIETLY work on this now


If you have enough information to support your points, then you are ready to move

on to the thesis statement and outlining.

If not, you may need to do more research before moving on to the next steps.

write your thesis statement
Write Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement tells the reader your position on a topic.

It should be clear, concise and cunning like this cougar 

A cougar would not waste time if it wants to strike. Neither, should you.

Your thesis needs to be direct and to the point.

things to avoid
Things to AVOID

You should avoid using statements like,

“This essay will discuss…” or

“I’m going to write about…”.

In this essay, I am going to discuss the effects of long-term drug abuse.

  • Long-term drug use can have disastrous effects on one’s marriage, career, and health.

AVOID statements that are too broad, too specific, or to vague.


Smoking-related diseases cause an estimated 440,000 American deaths each year. Even with facts like these, the whole country is divided on this issue. Some people believe that smoking should be banned everywhere while others are not so harsh. I believe, however, that tobacco should be outlawed because smoking endangers everyone’s health, pollutes the environment, and drains us of valuable energy.


(Interesting Fact)

Brief Explanation

(Leads into thesis)


(What you will be proving)


I believe, however, tobacco should be outlawed because smoking endangers everyone’s health, pollutes the environment, and drains us of valuable energy.

If what’s in red is the MAIN IDEA then,

what is in black are the reasons WHY you think this.

The subtopics are you answering



Writing a thesis is like being a lawyer

Lawyer: That man is guilty

Judge: Alright, do you have any proof?

Lawyer: Why, yes. I have a gun.

Judge: Well, explain how this gun shows that he’s guilty.

STATE your case


EXPLAIN your proof




Write a thesis statement

Stating your main idea, or thesis statement, is one of the most important steps in developing your topic. In doing so, you will set in motion your investigation of the facts so that you can reach an original conclusion in your paper.

Think of the thesis statementas a road map, or a guide, to take you in the right direction.


Your Thesis Statement

  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader.
  • The rest of the paper (the body) will inform the reader of your story’s plot/message and relate it to the facts you researched on the specific topic from your book.

Sample Thesis Statement

Be inspired,but do not copy/paste.


Outline your information

The preliminary (1st) outline (due next class) is intended to serve as a guide for writing your research paper.

Using an outline can help you organize your material and can also help you discover connections between pieces of information that you weren't aware of when you first conceived the plan of your paper. It can also make you aware of material that is not really relevant to the purposes of your paper or material that you have covered before and should therefore be removed.


Outlining: Where to Begin

Begin the outline by thinking about your topic and asking yourself questions to discover the major categories (main topics) and supporting information (subtopics).

Refer to page 36 of your research packet

Use this format as your guide as you develop the outline for your research paper.

Keep in mind that the outline you will be working on (at this point) is a TOPIC outline.


Descending Outlines: MLA Format

When writing in MLA style, you should use the DESCENDING OUTLINE



Sample Outlines

Follow the example on

page 36 of your research packet


Your goals for today

  • List all of the points you wish to make throughout your research paper.
  • Write a working thesis statement indicating what the main idea of your paper will be.
  • Develop a topic outline for your paper.
  • Any work not completed during class today will become HOME WORK and will be collected next class.

What your paper should look like:

  • DUE:
  • Fri. 12/05
  • Mon. 12/08

Research Paper:

(title your research paper)

Points to be made:

(list your points here)

Thesis statement:

(in the form of a single sentence)

Preliminary Topic Outline:

(begin on the BACKSIDE of your paper)

** follow the directions on pg. 40 **

Since this is a DRAFT, it does not need to be typed, but it MUST be NEAT and legible.