Research Paper

Description 

The Research Paper Performance Task Guide structures a step-by-step process through which students will conduct research and create a paper that synthesizes information from diverse sources.
In our information age, research no longer lives strictly in the world of academia. Research has become a highly practical and important skill for anyone who navigates the Internet to answer a question, identify a resource, or secure information for personal or professional uses. At the college level, students are expected to be able to conduct research independently in support of a range of tasks. The Research Paper Performance Task Guide offers teachers a series of guided steps to teach learners how to conduct effective searches, identify credible sources, analyze an author’s position and evidence base, and synthesize findings.

Opportunities for Student Choice 

Student choice can be encouraged in a number of ways. Students can choose the topic and the resources they gather and review. They can also choose the method in which they share their research.

Authentic Task 

Conducting research is both a professional and personal skill that almost everyone will undertake multiple times over the course of their lives. This can be small-scale research an individual conducts before purchasing a new cell phone, or multiple people conducting extensive research on cancer treatments that could change medical practices.

Opportunities for Exhibition to an Audience 

There are numerous options for presenting research papers. It can be as simple as presenting to the class or a group of invited parents or guests. The school could sponsor a Research Night where students display and share their work with the community. Student research could be published as a book of class findings or in an appropriate outside forum, depending on the topic.

Downloadable Resources 
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Explore the Genre of Research Papers

What is a Research Paper?

Develop a clear enough understanding of the characteristics of research to be able to explain your understanding to others.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.5
  • CCRA.W.7

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Research Paper Performance Tasks Rubric

What are the expectations for this performance task?

Each performance task has a single-point rubric, which lays out the expectations for college-and career-ready performance. This type of rubric allows teachers to provide specific, focused feedback without limiting students’ creativity or putting a ceiling on their...

Choose a Topic_Research

What makes for a good research paper topic?
Identify an issue, or a topic within a larger issue, that you either feel strongly about or wonder about. 

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.7

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Determine Your Audience_Research

Who am I speaking to and trying to influence with my work?
Determine who the audience of your research paper is. 

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.3
  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.4

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Determine Your Purpose_Research

What do I want my writing to accomplish?
Determine what you want to get your audience to know or do based on reading your research.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.3
  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.4

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Create a Research Question_Research

What question does your research hope to answer?
What are your research questions and why do they matter?  

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.7

Time To Complete 

2-3 Hours

Find Sources_Research

Where can I find information about my topic?
Utilize multiple search strategies to find sources of information that relate to your topic.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

3-5 Hours

Conduct Interviews_Research

What makes a great interview?
Analyze interviews for the type and quality of questions and how the right question can bring about better answers.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

3-5 Hours

Conduct Surveys_Research

How can surveys help me gather information from large groups of people?
Create, distribute, and analyze survey results related to the research topic.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

3-5 Hours

Evaluate Sources_Research

How do I decide whether to use a source?
Evaluating sources is important in determining if they are reliable and relevant for the research topic.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

3-5 Hours

Cite Sources to Avoid Plagiarism_Research

How do I make sure my research paper has integrity?
Paraphrasing and proper citation will help you avoid plagiarizing information. 

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

2-3 Hours

Take Notes and Organize Information_Research

How do I make sense of all of the information?
Use strategies to record and organize notes.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.W.8
  • CCRA.W.9

Time To Complete 

5-10 Hours

Outline and Draft_Research

How can you figure out what you want to say?
Find a way to organize your information and thoughts about your research. Use the writing process to construct your first draft.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.5
  • CCRA.W.8

Time To Complete 

2-5 Hours

Give and Receive Feedback_Research

How do authors collaborate to improve their writing?
Give and receive feedback that is focused and constructive, and that will help the author improve their draft.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.1
  • CCRA.SL.3
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Revise_Research

How can you improve your draft?
Using feedback from a peer and/or teacher, strengthen your draft by ensuring your facts and details are relevant, your organization is clear and strong, and your use of voice is strong and appropriate to the audience.  

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.4
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

3-5 Hours

Edit_Research

How can you improve your draft?
Using feedback from a peer and/or teacher, strengthen your presentation with a focus on grammar and professional language. 

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.4
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

2 Hours

Write an Executive Summary_Research

If you had two minutes to tell someone about your issue based on your research, what would you say?
Create a document that prepares you to present the essential points of your research paper to a larger audience. 

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.6

Time To Complete 

2 Hours