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Writing a Research Paper. Organize the following materials before you begin:. One file folder Note cards Tape Pencils Pens Highlighters. The File Folder. The file folder will keep your note cards organized and will keep them from getting lost.

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organize the following materials before you begin
Organize the following materials before you begin:
  • One file folder
  • Note cards
  • Tape
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
the file folder
The File Folder
  • The file folder will keep your note cards organized and will keep them from getting lost.

Step 1: Label the tab with your name, your homeroom teacher’s name, and your room number.

Step 2: Write the subject of your report on the front cover.

Step 3: Open your folder and place two cards on the left hand side and two more cards on the right hand side. Then tape down the sides and bottom of each card leaving the top open. When you’re finished, you should have four “pockets” to hold all of your research note cards.

collect at least three sources
Collect at Least Three Sources

Your sources can come from any of the sources listed on your MLA format paper.

You must use three different types of sources but may use more than one of one type.

The following is an example of sources one student might use:

internet article


interview with an expert

internet article

creating source cards
Creating Source Cards
  • You need one note card for each source.
  • Follow the guidelines below to write down all the bibliographical information for your first source card, an online source:

Author (if known). “Document Title.” Web Site or Database Title. Date of

electronic publication. Name of Sponsoring Institution. Date information

was accessed <URL>.

  • As you write on your first source card, be sure that the first line runs from one side of your note card to the other and each of the following lines are indented. Use the following example to guide you:

Kelly, S.H. “Tanker ‘Lets No One Down’ in Bloody Fight.” ArmyLINKNews. January 1997. U.S. Army Public Affairs. 28 Nov. 2003 <http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Jan1997/a19970113761st.html>.


Refer to your MLA sheet for the correct format for your other source cards.

  • Complete one card for each of your remaining sources.
  • Place each of your source cards in alphabetical order by author’s last name and number them. (See your “Works Cited” sheet.)
  • Once all of your cards are in alphabetical order, number them in the upper right hand corner.
  • Place them in your “Source Cards” pocket in your file folder.
note taking from your first source
Note taking from your First Source
  • Select your source card with the #1 on it from your source card pocket.
  • Take out three blank index cards and label them with the following titles: Behaviors, Habitat/Niche, and Physical Attributes.
  • Begin reading from your first source and as you come across information that applies to each card, jot down notes so that you’ll remember the info. later when you go to write your research paper. Number each one with a #1.
  • Remember not to plagiarize. It’s a crime. Instead, if you find something really special that you’d like to include in your paper, copy it onto the appropriate note card and put it in quotation marks. Then make a note of the page you found the information on.
note taking from your second source
Note taking from your Second Source
  • Select the source card with the #2 on it.
  • Take out three blank index cards and label them like you labeled your first set of note cards: Behaviors, Habitat/Niche, and Physical Attributes. This time label them with a #2 on each of them so that you know that the information on these cards came from your second source.
  • As you’re reading today, if you come across information you already have, you don’t need to write it.
  • By the end of today, you should have a total of 6 note cards for your research paper.
third source
Third Source
  • Continue to process you used for your first two sources on your third source.
writing the body of your essay
Writing the Body of your Essay
  • Take out all of your information cards marked #1, 2, and 3 and sort them into like piles (a pile for Physical Attributes, a pile for Behaviors, and a pile for Habitat/Niche)
  • Read through the pile of cards for Physical Attributes and write a paragraph about what your animal looks like.
  • Repeat this process for the other two piles.
  • At the end of today’s class you should have three paragraphs written. They will form the body of your essay.
write your introduction
Write Your Introduction
  • Write your introduction based on your notes from our lesson yesterday.
write your conclusion
Write Your Conclusion
  • Write your conclusion based on your notes from yesterday.
connecting your essay with transitions
Connecting Your Essay with Transitions
  • The thesis in your introduction tells the reader the direction he/she will be taking in reading your essay.
  • The topic sentence at the beginning of each of your body paragraphs tells your reader what each of your paragraphs will be about.
  • The concluding sentence at the end of each of your body paragraphs should let the reader know how the subject you are writing about is connected to the next subject you will be writing about.