7th Grade English with Mrs. Gregory

The Research Paper. Whether one reacts to these words by recalling fond scholarly memories or by breaking out in hives, surely no reader would deny this project’s status as a rite of passage. In 7th grade English, students are currently working on one of the many steps of this project–the note cards. In this stage, students are learning to paraphrase, to summarize, and to recognize when sentences are worthy of being quoted directly. All the while, they are filtering the information they come across through a preliminary thesis statement that was constructed prior to note-taking. Once students have finished this step, it will be time to organize their findings, construct an outline, and finally, draft the paper itself.
Despite the sometimes tedious nature of this project due to the precision required for formatting, the research paper is worth all the time and labor involved. Among the skills being taught are where to look for information, how to think critically about sources of information, how to synthesize information from various sources, how to give credit to others for their ideas, and finally, how to express the information discovered with appropriate structure and style. Living as they are in the “Information Age,” students will be able to utilize these skills long after their school-room days are over.