Writing Research and I-Search Papers
10 Ways to use NYTimes.com for Research
Practical suggestions for using a great resource. Be sure to have your students look at #10, a collection of articles related to plagiarism.
A+ Research and Writing for High School and College Students
An outstanding step-by-step guide from the Internet Public Library.
American Flag History
This research or "we-search" idea is designed for elementary students. Students create trading cards using facts about famous objects or landmarks. The lesson stresses the writing traits of word choice and conventions.
Links for teaching students about plagiarism and how to paraphrase, quote, and cite correctly.
Basic Steps in the Research Process
This site helps students through the research process. At each step students can click for additional information.
Big 6: An Information Problem-Solving Process
This approach "integrates information search and use skills along with technology tools in a systematic process to find, use, apply, and evaluate information to specific needs and tasks" (from the site). Be sure to click on "lessons" for practical applications.
Links to online citation tools.
Digital Story Writing: Cultural Myths
You are a folklorist observing the lives and cultures of different people. You want to tell the world about their culture, beliefs, and values. You and a group of other folklorists will research the lives of a an ethnic group, create a digital story about their lives, and present it to all the folklorists at the "Who are They?" convention. This activity is designed for high school.
Examining Effective Openers and Closures in Writings
Students will listen to a reading of Dr. Seuss' and Jack Prelutsky's Hooray for Difendoofer Day! Students will then work cooperatively to edit one another's rough drafts of analytical essay, focusing on openers and closures. This lesson is designed for high school.
I-Search Paper from Teachers.net
A teacher's letter to parents explains the process of an I-search project.
Inspiring Research Questions with Library of Congress Primary Sources
This blog presents an approach to developing good research questions.
Investigating Animals: Using Nonfiction for Inquiry-based Research
In this very extensive unit, students explore nonfiction texts to research answers to their questions. This lesson is designed for grades K-2.
Introduction to Research
This site provides an introduction to and overview of the research process. It includes links to notetaking, organization, documentation, format, and more.
A Journey Back in Time: Analyzing Primary Sources to Paint a Picture of the Past
This blog post from the Library of Congress suggests a process and resources for a simple research project investigating the history of a hometown.
The Living Words: Examining the Evolution of Language by Documenting Unique Words in One's Own Culture
"Students share thoughts about the cultural nuances inherent in different languages. They then document words and phrases unique to their own generation, region and culture. Learning is synthesized by updating a 16th century English text into contemporary American-English."
This research project integrates science and literacy as it addresses Common Core standards for grade 1. Includes printable "Word Wizards" stars. 13 pages; Adobe Reader required.
Putting a Face to the Numbers: Revealing First-Hand Accounts of Historical Genocide
From the New York Times: "In this lesson, students learn about how hearing about experiences of genocide can make an impact on students. Then, students create a text on the history of genocide, using first-hand accounts and other primary sources as the focus of the text."
Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources
This resource shows students how to quote and paraphrase without plagiarizing.
A Research Guide for Students
This collection of links offers suggestions for everything from choosing a topic to conducting research, avoiding plagiarism, incorporating quotations, and citing correctly.
Researching the Argument
High school students develop research skills by investigating a case being heard by the Supreme Court.
Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing
A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks. Designed for grades 6-8; includes links to printable handouts and related sites.
Stories of the Wrights' Flight
Students compare firsthand accounts of the Wright brothers' first flights on December 17, 1903, and then compare these to a secondary source, a newspaper story that appeared the next day. Designed for grades 3-8.
Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities: Integrating Technology into an I-Search Unit
An overview and timeline of the process, a case study, and suggestions for integrating technology. Designed for middle school.
Writing a Research Paper using APA Style Guidelines (6th Edition)
This short video discusses point of view, voice, and language that avoids bias. The video runs 3:36 and includes captioning.
From Theory to Practice
Students will use scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper about color psychology provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks.
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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
O'Day, S. (2006) Setting the stage for creative writing: Plot scaffolds for beginning and intermediate writers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
- Research paper scaffolding provides a temporary linguistic tool to assist students as they organize their expository writing. Scaffolding assists students in moving to levels of language performance they might be unable to obtain without this support.
- An instructional scaffold essentially changes the role of the teacher from that of giver of knowledge to leader in inquiry. This relationship encourages creative intelligence on the part of both teacher and student, which in turn may broaden the notion of literacy so as to include more learning styles.
- An instructional scaffold is useful for expository writing because of its basis in problem solving, ownership, appropriateness, support, collaboration, and internalization. It allows students to start where they are comfortable, and provides a genre-based structure for organizing creative ideas.
Biancarosa, G., and Snow, C. E. (2004.) Reading next-A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.
- In order for students to take ownership of knowledge, they must learn to rework raw information, use details and facts, and write.
- Teaching writing should involve direct, explicit comprehension instruction, effective instructional principles embedded in content, motivation and self-directed learning, and text-based collaborative learning to improve middle school and high school literacy.
- Expository writing, because its organizational structure is rooted in classical rhetoric, needs to be taught.
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