This research paper assignment is great for engaging students in thinking about their futures and in researching the steps necessary to achieve their career goals.
In this assignment, students research a career, focusing on three areas: education/training, duties/responsibilities, and outlook/salary/benefits.
In addition to merely relaying facts, this assignment challenges students to argue that the career is a great one. Therefore, I encourage the students to acknowledge the perceived and real challenges and downsides to the career, while arguing how and why it is still a worthy one to pursue.
The product includes:
- an assignment sheet explaining the task and requirements
- a rubric
- an explanation of various check-ins and assessments for each check-in
- an organizational model with guiding questions
- a working bibliography sheet
- a note-taking guide with space for writing (an alternative to notecards)
Depending on your students, you may choose to offer maximum support to your students, or minimal support. Students needing extra support may find the guiding questions very helpful in developing their investigations. For example, under "Education/Training," students are offered the following:
1. What kind of education or training is required (4-year degree, 2-year degree, certification, other)? Is ongoing professional development required?
2. What does the coursework/training involve (hands-on internship? science courses? certification examinations)?
3. What are some schools/institutions/organizations that prepare candidates for this career?
Students needing additional support may also benefit from avoiding the traditional note-card approach, and instead utilizing a note-taking outline. I upload my blank outline to my teacher website so that students may type their notes directly into a document. This benefits students who struggle with motor skills and organization, and has minimized the number of students who lose their notes.
This product, in .doc format, may be altered to better suit your students and your needs.