Step 1: Choosing your Topic
In this ongoing research paper project, students will:
· Select and narrow an essay topic.
· Identify audience and purpose before beginning the process of writing an essay.
· Formulate a strong, effective thesis statement.
· Structure an essay using a strong beginning, middle, and end.
· Develop and organize the topic sentences, the supporting details and specific evidence that support the thesis and essay.
· Show appropriate development of the essay and the thesis using paragraphs that contain sentence variety and specific, coherent, relevant, and interesting details.
· Make good use of topic sentences, transitions, and concluding statements within the paragraphs, which better links paragraphs in the essay.
· Write an essay, approximately 6 double-spaced and typed pages (1,250 words), using proper research techniques and following proper standard MLA guidelines.
· Include 4 to 7 relevant, quality sources in your works cited page.
· Revise to ensure appropriate development with specific attention to cohesion, support, and organization.
· Revise to include varied, interesting, and accurate sentences and word choices.
· Identify the common grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in an essay and apply the rules of correction to effectively edit.
OWL Online Writing Lab Resources
Research Paper Project – Step 1: Choosing a Topic
For this lesson, you need to choose a topic for your research paper. As discussed in the lesson presentation, choose a specific topic.
Thinking about the broad topics that you’re interested in is a great way to choose a specific topic, as we’ve seen with this example. To brainstorm specific topics, choose one or more of the pre-writing activities discussed in the lesson. For example, if you’re interested in computers, start brainstorming ways that computers are used like in this cluster:
Most likely, it is going to be one of the smaller topics that branch off from the main idea that will make a good topic for your essay. It’s impossible to write just one research paper on “computers” but a student could write a very effective research paper on “online advertising techniques” or “computer-assisted teaching in K-12 Social Studies classrooms.”
Choose a topic that you are interested in learning more about, as you’ll be working with this topic throughout the duration of the course.
If, after reading this lesson and the Topic 3 OWL resources, you have questions about choosing a topic or would like to brainstorm ideas with a tutor in real time, please attend one of Smarthinking’s live (real-time) sessions.
Last modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 9:07 AM
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