2019 Research Paper Assignment: (scroll down for details)


Explain a position on a controversial topic.


Quick links:

1. Fill out the research planning page.

2. Use the county library site to access research: http://sccl.org. Create tiny url links to your articles.

3. Make research cards and follow the rules: research cards handout.

4. Start drafting

A. Here's the full explanation of cards, drafting, and citations

B. How to insert a chart or figure in MLA format

C.  Sample "Works Cited."  |   Resource for formatting the "works cited" page.

D. Just found this handy site.

5. Then write the introduction and then write the conclusion.

Here's a sample essay to review.   - It's not perfect, but it gives you the idea.

Here's an example of how to synthesize information.  

Don't write a boring list!

An article about synthesis. 

Another reference on synthesis.


1. Choose a topic to research.  

2. Use the county library site to access research: http://sccl.org.  

Use the "research for teens" section.  You're welcome to use other areas too, but that is a good starting point.

Some helpful links about research validity: Powtoon  and a college site.

Interesting article about plagiarism in today's world.



3. Make your life easy!  Create tiny url links to your articles.

Pick a naming convention that is easy (name your tiny urls):

tinyurl.com/smith_oncaypaper_source1     [or something like that]

OR: Download and save the best articles as pdf files on your flash drive.

4. Make SOURCE cards for your sources.  

5. After you have two or three sources, begin making NOTE cards.  

6. Make sure you have your cards ready in class when they are due (they are graded).  

7. On a specific day when your research is done, you'll start numbering your NOTE cards to be used in your paper.  

8. Use the cards to write your draft. Create a Google Doc.

(ex: p2_smith_billy_research_2017_climatechange)

9. Someone else should read your draft as you write and give suggestions.

10.  When your rough draft is finished, take a break.  

Here are the mistakes that seem to happen most frequently, so follow this advice.

A. Heading problems. Format the heading like this:

Billy Smith

Mr. Oncay, Period 4

Language Arts, Research Project

22 March 2017

B. All lines should be double-spaced. Check to see if you might have brought over any weird formatting from another software.

C. Use only black text, times new roman, 12pt, no all caps, and no hyperlinks in your Google doc.

D. Overall structure. 

E. Apostrophes are not quotation marks.  Students seem to have the 'habit' of writing them 'in' randomly.  Stop doing that.

F. When you make a change to the quote to match your grammar, use brackets [ ], not parentheses (  ).

G. The whole paper should try to stick to one tense.  Only shift to other tenses when appropriate.

H. Citation Problems:

"blah blah blah" ("The Life of Ernest Hemingway").

"blah blah blah" ("Hemingway, Ernest" 2009)

"blah blah blah" ("Hemingway, Ernest" Authors and Artists)

I. No large block quotes.  

J. Never use "throw away words" as Mr. Oncay calls them.  Too many students write something like this:

"There are many authors who are important, but so-and-so is the most important."  

The first part, "There are many..." can be said about anything and anyone.  Therefore, these words are not specific to the topic and should be thrown away.  

K. In the Works Cited at the end of the paper, those lines should also be double-spaced and you need hanging indents.

L. Also, ALL English teachers hate the phrase "all in all," so don't use it.  And NEVER write "As you can see..." because you would never want to speak to the reader.