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Putting Together an Argumentative Research Paper

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1 Putting Together an Argumentative Research Paper

2 So I have to do a WHAT?!! A research paper?
What in the world is a research paper? You want me to do WHAT?

3 A Research Paper What it is… What it is NOT…
A paper that is written using information you have gathered from several different sources to help support, or back up, your opinion on a specific topic…kind of like a beefed up 5-paragraph essay! A bunch of information slapped together for no apparent reason!

4 A good research paper… Has a solid thesis statement (end of first paragraph) that reflects your opinion of a specific topic. This thesis statement includes three main points that you will be making in your paper. Forms an argument based on solid research using credible sources. Credible = Experts/ People who know what they are talking about because they have been there, have done that, and have gotten the t-shirt!  This could be someone who has experienced something first-hand or someone who holds a college degree in that field and has done a LOT of research on this topic. Is well-organized. See the next slide…

5 How I want your paper to be organized:
First Paragraph = Introduce the topic to your reader. The last sentence in this paragraph should be your thesis statement, which should briefly list the three main points you are going to make in your paper. Second, third, and fourth paragraphs = the body paragraphs. Each point you mentioned in your thesis gets its own paragraph. This is where your research comes in. Back up (support) the point you’re trying to make by using expert opinions! People may not want to believe you, but they can’t argue with the experts! Fifth Paragraph = Conclusion. Restate the three main points you made in your argument and leave the reader with some final Aha! thoughts that really drive your points home. Use a CLUSTER DIAGRAM to help organize what you’re going to say and what paragraph it needs to be in! #REQUIRED #WORTH POINTS

6 How to Begin: We will be reading a number of articles as well as a few stories and poems to help us generate ideas for your paper. As we go along, I will guide you through the process of gathering information you can use in your paper as well as citing your sources. Choosing your topic and coming up with a working thesis is the first step, but I want you to read some different articles before you make your final choice. Your paper should be written about a topic that you really care about, so we’re going to find out what it is that you REALLY care about! Some of the topics we will address include whether or not cell phones should be allowed in schools, school nutrition, effects of social media, effects of high school and college athletics on the human body, and school bullying. These are just some ideas. You will be grouped according to your topic and will do the research in groups, but each group member’s paper will be written individually.

7 What’s Next… Once you choose a topic, it’s important to formulate your opinion of the topic. In other words, what side will you take? Example: Are you PRO (FOR) letting the government make regulations to control school breakfast and lunch nutrition, or are you CON (AGAINST) government involvement in the school lunch program? Why? Name three reasons why. (You may have to come up with these after you’ve done some research.) Next, you have to draft a working thesis. This is a sentence that expresses what you have to say about the topic (your opinion) as well as the three main points you plan to make in your paper. These are the three main things you have to PROVE to your reader. In order to prove your points, you must have solid evidence to back up what you’re saying. This is where the research comes in…

8 Gathering Information (Research)
In order to gather good, solid information to support your opinion, you’ve got to find some good, solid sources. NO WIKKIPEDIA! A source can be a book, newspaper article, website article, an interview with a person, etc. You must have at least three sources for your research paper as follows: One website One newspaper or magazine article (, Upfront, Junior Scholastic, New York Times or Washington Post online) One book (library book or googlebooks)

9 Source Cards (Note Cards)
We will gather quotes, facts, and other important information we think we can use to help support our opinion and write this information on source cards (note cards). ALWAYS remember to write the name of the source (Ex. article title “School Lunchilicious”) at the top of your note card. If you need more than one note card for a source, number the note cards; but make sure you write the name of the source at the top of each note card! Also, remember to write the page number where you found each tidbit of information or quote. You MUST have this information, or you will lose many, many points. I will draw examples of how to do note cards on the board when we begin this phase of our project.

10 Citation of Sources Citing a source means telling your reader where you got your information. It means giving credit to the person who wrote the article or book where you found such wonderful information! #Props! In your paper, there are two different kinds of citations: In-text Citations- These are found INside your paper. Immediately after you use a quote or paraphrase a piece of information you found in one of your sources, you “cite” your source. This is where you put the author’s name and the page number where you found that info in parentheses. Works Cited Page- This is a list of your three sources. It provides enough information to where other people can know exactly where you got your information. It must be done a certain way, so we will do some of these on the back of your note cards in class. You will be responsible for the other sources.

11 Citing a News Article Newspaper:

12 Putting it all Together
You will not be able to use every quote or piece of information you found in your paper, but you MUST use at least one piece of information from each of your three sources. If you do the research and gather information from different sources but only use information from one of the three sources, you will NOT receive credit for the source in your research paper grade. Also, if you use information from all three sources but do not include in-text citations, you will NOT receive credit for using the sources. You will receive separate points for your note cards.

13 How much is this project worth?
500 Points Total: 100 Points- Note Cards for three sources 100 Points- Cluster Diagram of Thesis, Three Main Points, and Supporting Evidence for each point 100 Points- Rough Draft (Including in-text citations, hand- written) 100 Points- Final Draft (Typed, No grammar or punctuation mistakes, no spelling mistakes, including Works Cited page) 100 Points- Research Presentation (Choose either a PowerPoint, Video, or other multi-media presentation to present the information in your research paper.)

14 Questions? Remember, this is a 5-phase project. I will give you in-depth instructions during class as we complete each phase. Do not hesitate to ask me questions if I’ve explained a phase and you still do not understand what to do. Of course, if you were busy daydreaming about what we’re having for lunch today, you may want to ask a friend first! Due dates for each phase will be posted on the homework board weekly and are subject to change if I see that we do/do not need additional time for that phase. If you do not get your work done during class when you’ve had sufficient time to complete the task, you must finish it for homework. If work is not complete by the due date for each phase and is turned in late, it will be counted at 60% of the original point value. If you have an excused absence, see me the day you return for an alternate due date.

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