This research packet can be used as a whole for any major research project to help students plan their project and budget their time, or parts of it can be used for individual research lessons or short-term assignments. The teacher needs to walk through every part of this packet in order to teach students the various aspects of planning a successful research project and citing their sources.
p. 1 – The Research Planning page is for students to record their research topic and begin to organize their thoughts and decide the direction they will go with that topic. They are asked to come up with questions they need answered as well as key search words that will help them find the information they are seeking. And every lesson should challenge the student to look for ways how what they’ve discovered in their research will help them in life.
p. 2 – 3 The Time Line calendar is to help students learn to manage the time and effort it takes to create a successful research project. It can be used for any long-term assignment that requires students two or more weeks to work on it. Too many students wait until the night before a major assignment is due, so they’ve missed an important lesson in managing their time and putting forth their best efforts. The teacher can make students accountable for staying on task throughout the allotted time frame by creating check points for the different areas of the research project, which can be used as daily grades or part of the overall grade. Some of those checkpoints can include:
1. The day students should have their topic chosen (if that’s a
part of the assignment)
2. The day the Research Planning Sheet should be filled out
3. The day by which students should have found and
documented their sources (the bibliographic information
necessary to cite each source)
4. The day by which their outlines should be completed
5. The day by which their rough drafts should be written
6. The day by which they should have edited and re-written their
7. The day their final papers should be completed, including
bibliography page (also called Reference List, Works
Cited, Sources, etc.) You can tell them which title to use.
8. The day(s) the projects will be presented (if they will be
9. The day students should have completed their self-
You can fill out the calendar with the students as a daily assignment, and encourage them to use this time management tool for any major project in any subject or long-term activity in their personal lives.
p. 3 - Information Sources – discuss the minimum number of sources (& types of sources) students will need for their research project and have them record it in this section. Also have them start thinking about key words that will help them find the information they are seeking. Tell students that for most topics, they will find much more information than they actually need, so part of the process is to sort through and figure out which information is relevant to their topic.
Organize & Present the Project – Have students record how the research paper will be presented from the list of options, so there is no question what is required of them.
p. 4 – 7 – Citing Sources & MLA Documentation – These pages define the reason sources should be cited and walk students through the process of collecting the necessary bibliographic information needed to correctly cite a source. Page 6 and 7 are fill-in-the-blank sheets students can use to record the information needed for their research project sources. A sample Works Cited page is included, as well as the most common types of print and Web sources they will use for their research project. You can decide which title you want them to use for their Works Cited page. Note: Many computer savvy students-- especially high school and up- use online Citation-building Web sites to create their Works Cited page, and if your students are at this level, that’s great. But for most of these Web sites, students still have to type in the bibliographic information for their sources, so the fill-in-the-blank pages are useful. Some online encyclopedias and databases have the citation written out with the article that students can copy and paste to their Works Cited page, too.
p. 8 – Evaluation Page for the Student & the Teacher – Students need to learn how to evaluate their own work in order to begin to take responsibility for the quality (or lack thereof) of their efforts. The teacher also evaluates and grades, but self-evaluation is an important life skill for students. Every lesson should teach knowledge or a skill that students will be able to use in life, and that should be emphasized. The different lessons involved in a research assignment—time management, finding good information, evaluating sources and recognizing misinformation, giving others’ credit for borrowed work, and presenting a quality research project in a variety of formats are all skills they will potentially use in some form throughout their lives and careers.
p. 9 - Is a copy of these instructions. Be sure to take it out before duplicating the student packets. Feel free to modify anything in this packet to fit your students’ needs and your teaching objectives. Since the purchased file is a Word doc, before you print make sure the information hasn’t shifted from page to page, for example, the student’s name line should be at the top of the page.