English II Research Project

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1


English I
I Research Project
















201
1
-
2012


Mrs. Haney

Joe Duffield

2


English I
I Research Project


Objective:
Research an issue, develop a thesis about the
issue(choose a side of the
argument)
and
write a
persuasive
research paper
.

Research Topic

Ideas


Defense and International Affairs

Foreign aid

Homeland Security

Human rights

Nuclear warfare

Patriot Act

Terrorism

The war in Iraq
/Afghanistan

Military recruitment

Wiretapping

Torture


Education

Standardized testing

No Child Left Behind

Early childhood education

Technology and learning

Sex education


Environment

Alternative fuels

Animal rights

Climate change

Conservation

Endangered species

Global

warming

Nuclear power

Organic farming

Pollution

Recycling

Renewable
energy


Government and Law

Censorship

Civil rights

Child abuse

Domestic violence

Elections/campaigning

Gun control

Steroid use





Immigration laws

Gangs


Health and Medicine

Health care
reform

Biotechnology

Cloning

Eating disorders

Stem cell research

Genetic engineering

Plastic surgery

Alcohol/drug abuse

Obesity


Science and Technology

Nanotechnology

Internet privacy

Social networking

Space exploration

Telecommunications


Society, Values,

and Culture

Adoption

Advertising

Bankruptcy

Body image

Debt

Divorce

Fashion

Influence of the media on society

Music theory

Teen pregnancy

Single parenthood


All topics are subject to teacher approval.

You are not limited to the topics on this list;

it is simply meant to guide you in your
decision.

If you would like to explore a topic or issue

not listed on this form, just ask!



3





Criteria for choosing a research topic:


1)

Choose a topic you love
.
The quality of your research will
be much

better if you feel genuine passion for your work.


2)

Pick a topic that will be helpful in your career path.
You will be investing several months

of your time in this
research

project
. You might as well choose a topic that is
going to help you in life.


3)

Choo
se research that i s unique
.
Be creative and choose
an idea that is original and innovative.


4)

Think carefully before choosing a topic.

You must
choose a topic that is school appropriate and will not
offend others.
You must consider your audience and how
they might respond to your topic.


5)

Pick a topic that you already have some knowledge
of.
This will make your research project easier and
it will
go
more smoothly.


6)

Pick a manageable topic
.
This is a huge project, but you
shouldn’t tackle anything that is g
oing to be overwhelming or
discouraging.

4




Writing a Thesis Statement


A thesis statement is a
single, complete sentence

that identifies the
purpose

of your project.
It expresses an
opinion

that you will support with the information found in your research.


TOPIC + OPINION = THESIS STATEMENT


Good thesis statements:



Present one specific idea



Never contain two conflicting ideas



Are
not

open
-
ended questions



Are
not

too broad or general


Exampl
es of bad thesis statements:

Identify the problems with the following
thesis statements.

What could be a problem?

a)

Conflicting ideas

b)

Open
-
ended question

c)

Too broad or general

d)

Controversial or extreme


1.

The World’s Fair in New Orleans was a disaster because
the press criticized it, but it
was fun for the children and had many excellent food booths.

2.

TV commercials are obnoxious if you are watching a good show, but they also
provide an opportunity to take a bathroom break.

3.

Since politicians are constantly bomba
rding each other, how do they expect anyone
to know who is right and who is wrong?

4.

Rap music is a popular form of art because it is creative and original, and it follows
the traditions of other spontaneously developed music like jazz.

5.

Unless people do some
thing about pollution, the world will be destroyed by 2025.



5


Examples of good thesis statements:

These thesis statements contain a single, well
-
developed, specific idea.


1.

While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought fo
r
moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.

2.

Because American elementary school children consume nine times the
recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the
beverag
es in soda machines with heal
thier

alternatives.

3.

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community
service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and
global awareness.

6


TOPIC AND THESIS STATEMENT SUBMISSION FORM


The topic I
chose for my research project is:

_____________________________________________________


The three reasons I chose this topic are:

__________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________________________________


My
working thesis statement is:

___________________________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________________________________


R
esearch questions

that will prove/support
my

thesis
:


1.

_________________________________________
________________________________________________________


2.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


3.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


Having trouble coming up with research questions on your topic?

Try this website:
http://thinktank.4teachers.org/assist/subject.php3?ts=1207745877



Possible
s
ources for resea
rch
*

(be specific!)
:


1.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


2.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


3.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


*
Wikipedia is
NOT

allowed as a source for this research project.


When complete, submit this form to your teacher for approval.



This topic was approved by
__________________________________________ on _________________________.

7


Web Page Evaluation Guide

Only to be filled out if you are using
public
websites (non
-
database resources)


Directions:

Go to the webpage and start looking around. Circle the appropria
te answer to
each question. Count the number of answers in
column two

and write the number in the
box.
If you have
seven or more

answers from column two, find a better webpage to use and
start over. If you have
less than seven

answers from column two, you’ve found a great
webpage to use for your research!


Website Name: _______________________________________________________________________________________

The Five
-
Minute Test: Getting the Facts

Column 1

Column 2

Is the table
of contents or menu easy to find?

Yes

No

Does the page load quickly?

Yes

No

Do words and pictures show up well?

Yes

No

Does it list the author(s) or creator(s)?

Yes

No

Is there a copyright date?

Yes

No

Is there a tilde (~) in the URL?

No

Yes

Does the

author seem qualified to write about the subject?

Yes

No

Can you tell when the site was created (date)?

Yes

No

Can you tell when the site was last updated (date)?

Yes

No

Do most of the links work? (check at least three of the links)

Yes

No

Are there
spelling or grammatical errors?

No

Yes

Do you mostly understand what the website says?

Yes

No

Does the author tell where the information came from?

Yes

No

Does the author give evidence/examples for what’s written?

Yes

No


COLUMN 2 TOTAL=



Website Name: _____________________________________________________________________________________

The Five
-
Minute Test: Getting

the Facts

Column 1

Column 2

Is the table of contents or menu easy to find?

Yes

No

Does the page load quickly?

Yes

No

Do words and pictures show up well?

Yes

No

Does it list the author(s) or creator(s)?

Yes

No

Is there a copyright date?

Yes

No

Is
there a tilde (~) in the URL?

No

Yes

Does the author seem qualified to write about the subject?

Yes

No

Can you tell when the site was created (date)?

Yes

No

Can you tell when the site was last updated (date)?

Yes

No

Do most of the links work? (check at

least three of the links)

Yes

No

Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

No

Yes

Do you mostly understand what the website says?

Yes

No

Does the author tell where the information came from?

Yes

No

Does the author give evidence/examples for what’s
written?

Yes

No


COLUMN 2 TOTAL=


8


Parenthetical Documentation


ALL PORTIONS OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT MUST CONTAIN PARENTHETICAL
DOCUMENTATION OR
YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT.


In MLA style,
giving credit
to the works of others in your
research paper

is done by
using what's known as
parenthetical documentation
.


Immediately following a quotation or a paraphrase from a source, you place the
author's
name followed by a space and the relevant page number(s).

This is
called a
citation
.


Example
:

Human beings have been described as "symbol
-
using

animals"
(
Burke 3).


Like many animals, human beings use symbols to

communicate (Burke 3).


When a source has

no author, use a shortened

title
of the
source instead
. Place
the title in quo
tation marks if it's an article
.


Example
:

An anonymous Wordsworth critic once argued that his poems
were too emotional ("Poetry" 10
).


Romantic poetry i
s marked by a
"spontaneous overflow of
powerful feelings" (
“Poetry” 26
).



Punctuation marks should appear
after

the citation. Question marks and
exclamation points should appear
inside

the quotation marks if they are a part of
the quoted passage but after the parenthet
ical citation if they are a part of your
writing only.


Examples
:

According to some, dreams express "profound asp
ects of
personality" (Foulkes
4), though others disagree.


According to
a recent

study, dreams may express "profound
aspects of personality" (
Foulkes
4).


Is it possible that dreams may express "profound asp
ects of
personality" (Foulkes
4)?



9


RESEARCH PAPER

OUTLINE


I. Introduction


A.
Hook







B.
Thesis statement





II. First body paragraph


A.
Define and explain your topic.











III. Second body paragraph


A.
Answer who/what/where/when/why/how questions about your topic.

Who?



What?



When?



Where?


Why?



How?


10


IV. Third body paragraph


A.
Discuss what opposing parties have said about your topic.









V. Fourth body paragraph


A.
Discuss possible solutions to problems related to your topic.










VI. Fifth body paragraph


A.
Explain the best researched solution for problems related to your topic.












B.
Provide
support from your research to support why this is the best solution.











11


VII. Conclusion


A.
Restate your thesis.






B.
Summarize each of your body paragraphs in a sentence or two.









C.
Close with a concluding statement
about your topic.













12


Writing Your Research Paper


Once you have your outline, you can begin writing your research paper.


Research papers are co
nsidered academic writing, so they

should not include slang, casual language, or
exclamation points.

NEVER

mention the paper itself (don’t write “in this paper” or “in the next paragr
aph
”).

NEVER

use the words
I, me, you, your
, or any form of those words.



Research Paper Format

Font:
Ti
mes New Roman

Font size:

12

Spacing
: double spaced, except for heading

Margins
: 1
-
inch

Paragraph

length
: 3
-
5 sentences

Paper

length
:
4
-
5 pages

Header
: Name, date, class period in the upper left hand corner (first page only)

Page

numbers
: upper right hand
corner, except first page

Title
: centered at top of first page (Do NOT bold, underline, italicize, or change the font size)

Parenthetical

documentation
: use Noodletools to generate citations for all quotes/paraphrasing

Point of view
: third
-
person (Do not u
se “I” or “you”)

13


Problems Writing Your Research Paper


It is not uncommon for writers to have difficulty writing a first draft. Here are some common drafting
problems and ways to overcome them.


Problem

Solution

Can’t find the right words for the introdu
ction

Begin with the body of the paper; it will be
easier to write the intro later.

Writer’s block

The worst thing you can do it stop writing. Just
keep writing, no matter how bad it is. You can
always go back and fix poor writing. Get out as
many ideas
as possible and one of them is
bound to work.

Outline is giving me problems or is difficult to
work with

If you come up with new, better ideas, don’t
hesitate to change your outline.

Transitions are difficult to write

Look for a single idea that connects

the
paragraphs. How are they alike or different?
Use that idea to transition to the next
paragraph.

I feel as if I’m just listing the information found
in my research

Think about what you’ve learned as a result of
your research. Use the research to suppo
rt
what you learned and your own ideas.

I can’t think of the right word to use in a
sentence

Type in the closest word to what you are
trying to say. Highlight the word, hit Shift+F7,
and MS Word will pull up a thesaurus.

I don’t know how to introduce on
e of my
quotes

The simplest way to introduce a quote is to
cite the source: “[Name of author] believes
that…” or “[Name of source] indicates that…”

















14


CREATING A WORKS CITED PAGE

USING NOODLETOOLS


A works cited page is a list of every
source

that you
used

to complete

your research
project
.


Step
-
by
-
step
instructions

for making a works cited page using Noodletools:

Read carefully and check off each step as you go!




Go to the
VR
HS homepage and click on the
Library

link.



Click on the
Database

l
ink.



Under “Tools for creating MLA
-
style bibliographies,” click
Noodletools
.



If you already have a personal ID, log in. If not, register for one and log in.
Write down your user name and password on the inside of your research
folder.



Once you’re logged
in, click on “Create a New List” (top right of page).



Select
MLA Advanced

and fill in the list description as “Research Project.”



Click “Create list.”



From the drop
-
down menu, select the type of citation for your first source
(most likely a
web site
).



On t
he next screen, select the type of website your source is. For database
sources, select “Print source available on the web.”



On the next screen, answer all the questions regarding your source. If you
aren’t sure, ASK YOUR TEACHER FOR HELP! Then click “Nex
t.”



Over

the next several screens, Noodletools will ask you to fill in information
about your source. Some fields will already be filled in for you. Fill in each
blank field EXACTLY as it appears on your source printout. Don’t forget
CAPITALIZATION and PUN
CTUATION where appropriate.



After filling in all the blank fields, click “Generate Citation.”



Your works cited entry will appear. To add another source to your works
cited page, select a citation type from the dropdown menu and click “Create
Citation.”



Rep
eat this process until you have generated entries for all of your sources.



When you have generated entries for all your sources, click “Save as Word
Doc.”



Click
Page Header
. In the empty field on the next screen, enter your first and
last name. Click “Set
Header.”



Click “Export and Print.”



When it asks you if you want to open or save, click “Open.”



Once the document is opened, check it for errors.
Go back into Noodletools
and fix any errors if necessary.




PRINT and SAVE
your works cited page.


15


Research Pape
r:
F
inal

Checklist


Make sure you are getting the maximum points possible on all aspects of your research
paper. Once you have finished your
final

draft,
before you print
, go through this
checklist to make sure you are following the basic requirements.


T
itle Page

_____ My paper has an original, creative title

_____ My title is size 12
Times New Roman or Arial
font

_____ My title is NOT underlined, italicized, or bold

_____ My title is centered at the top of the title page

_____ My title page includes my first and last name,
teacher’s

name, English I
I, and


the date.


General Formatting

_____ My paper is written entirely in size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font

_____ My paper is double
-
spaced (except for the
hea
ding
)

_____ My pages are numbered in the upper right hand corner (Ex: Lastname 1)

_____ I have 1” margins (Go to File


Page Setup and change side margins to 1”)

_____ I have an introduction, at least
four

main body paragraphs, and a conclusion

_____ My paragraphs are
(at least)
3
-
8 well
-
developed sentences long

_____ My paper is
3
-
5 pages long


Content

_____ My topic is clearly stated in the opening paragraph with a proper thesis statement

_____ My paper flows smoothly from paragraph to paragrap
h and uses transitions

_____ I have included 2
-
3 direct quotes from my research/sources

_____ I have included at least eight citations in my paper

_____
All

of my research has been properly cited using MLA format for parenthetical


documentation:

(Author’s last name, page number).

_____ I have included at least one citation per main body paragraph

_____
All

of my quotes are embedded into a sentence of my own (NONE of them are


all by themselves).

_____ I have included a works cited page
created in Noodletools
.


Spelling and Grammar

_____ I used spell check to make sure that there are no basic errors in my paper.

_____ I checked my writing to make sure that there are no errors in my paper.

_____ I did
not

use any first person pronouns


I,

me, mine, us, we, our

_____ I did
not

use any second person pronouns


you, your

_____ I did
not

refer back to my paper in my wr
iting (“In this paper, I will…”

etc.)

_____ I do
not

have any sentence fragments or run
-
on sentences in my paper (MS


Word will

indicate these with a green squiggly underline

right click on the line


to fix these problems!)