8th Grade Language Arts Project
Topic - This paper is to be an in-depth study of a person that you are interested in
studying. Topics must be approved by the teacher. Please decide carefully; once you have
chosen your topic you cannot change your mind. The research paper is to use information
from a variety of sources and blend it all into one coordinated paper - not a review of
each source separately.
Index Cards - All students are required to have at least 25 index cards that they are
keeping their source information and works cited on. I will be looking to be sure that you
have been working to find at least 4 sources (2 print and 2 internet). Be sure that you are
taking notes over your sources, putting information into your own words, dating your
index card “entry”, and jotting down the things you will need for your works cited page,
such as copyright information, author, etc. This makes it easy so you don’t have to track
down the source when you’re writing your final draft. Use only one source per index
card. This will avoid confusion when you are ready to write your paper.
Date Due: _____________________
Points: 200 points possible.
Your paper will be due at the START OF THE CLASS PERIOD.
Rough Draft (goes at the very back of the report).
Final Report must be in a presentation folder.
Title page-Use MLA title page format.
Report with at least 25 note cards
At least one picture, chart, graph, etc.
FORM: Right and left side margins should be 1 inch wide; 12 point font; Times New
Roman; Double Space.
1. Select a topic from the list that Mrs. Basinski has provided.
2. Get approval from Mrs. Basinski for the topic you have chosen.
There will be no changes after this date.
a. Usually a research report does not have to be a person. It can be a
specific topic (e.g. Cells, a particular topic in science, a scientific
b. NO GROUP REPORTS!
c. Turn in your reports to Mrs. Basinski.
a. The research paper will be 4-6 pages written material, double spaced
based on rough draft. Other pages may be title pages, table of contents,
maps, charts, drawings, pictures, and the bibliography.
b. If it is typed on a computer, it should be double-spaced. If it is done in
cursive, the report will be single-spaced on one side of the paper only.
You may skip lines between paragraphs and it will be done in blue
or black ink.
c. Your report must include at least one drawing of your own (e.g. draw a
diagram of photosynthesis, a picture of a cell).
a. Four different sources required (at least two book and two internet sources)
b. Computer web sites are considered for only two sources.
c. If you draw any charts or maps, please include this information at the bottom of
the page: Book Title, Page, and Explanation.
a. Typed or Cursive Only. Use one side of good binder paper. Use the same colored
ink for the whole report. Remember blue or black ink only. If typed, font size will
be 12. Font must be Times New Roman ONLY!
a. A bibliography is a list of all books, magazines, encyclopedias, written
or viewed materials used for information in your report.
b. The bibliography goes on a separate page at the end of report.
c. See the bibliography section for the format.
7. Other information:
a. You must have a folder to keep the report organized
b. Do not use plastic covers for individual pages.
c. Write down the information you will need for your bibliography when you use
the book, newspaper, etc. Later you may not be able to find it.
Tips for Writing your Research Paper
• Introductory and Conclusion Paragraphs should be 3-4 sentences
• Last sentence of the introductory paragraph is your thesis statement - a
sentence that combines the main points of your paper
• All other paragraphs in the body of your paper should be 5-7 sentences minimum!!!!!
• Tab in 5-7 spaces to indent
• Do not skip any extra lines between paragraphs
• You may use first person in your conclusion paragraph only!
Sample Introductory Paragraph:
Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, is a man who has been
recognized for his controversial actions as well as his contributions to government. His
life has had a series of extraordinary events that has made him an important figure in
American history. This research will follow the events in the life of Richard Nixon from
before the Oval Office, his reign as President, and his life after the Presidency.
• Two spaces after punctuation at the end of a sentence unless it is an
abbreviation, such as U.S.A., in which case there are NO spaces.
• Two spaces after a colon (ex. The following rules are listed as follows:
grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.)
• One space after a comma or semicolon
• 12-point font....NOTHING BIGGER!!!!! Use this throughout your entire paper.
• Follow format directions, including margins, headers, and line spacing, as stated
in your research paper packet.
• Spell out numbers under ten (including ten) Anything 11 or greater can
appear in numeric form.
Recommended Word Usage
• Avoid using cemetery words
• Do not start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or)
• Use complex sentences!!!
• Avoid slang or jargon, such as “stuff”
• Avoid cliches, such as “The grass is always greener on the other side” That is
considered a form of plagiarism!
Here are the correct forms to use when writing your bibliographies. Please notice the
punctuation marks. When writing your bibliographies make sure the author's names are
put in alphabetical order using the last name.
MAGAZINES - Monthly or Bimonthly
Author. "Title of Article." Title. City of publication: publisher, date of publication.
No Author. "Title of Article." Title. Date of publication: Page numbers.
Title. Director's name. Name of distributor, Year.
Name of person interviewed. Type of distributor, Year.
Name of sender. Letter to Author. Date.
Author. :Title of Article." Name of Newspaper Complete Date, Edition: Section &
Use the same format as a book.
"Title of Article." Name of reference book. Vol. #/Edition#. Year of edition.
"Title of Article." What Search. Website Address. Date.
"Title of Article." Name of CD-ROM reference used. Year.
Author-Last name first. Title. City of Publication: Publisher, Date of publication.
Title. Copyright date. City of publication : publisher, Date of publication.
MAPS AND CHARTS
Name of map. State that it is a map or chart. City of publication: Publisher, Year.
Requirement Due Points
Overall use of in-class time _______/10
First Source (book) ______/5
At least 4 sources minimum (2 book and 2 internet) ______/10
Note cards (at least 25) _______/50
Cover Page _______/5
INTRODUCTION: Contains the thesis statement and expresses the main idea _______/5
of the paper, including limits if any.* No opinions* No I, me, my, “this paper”
Contains separate paragraphs that express each main idea with
Contains specific examples to back up the main idea.
Factual information is accurate and in your own words.
Information is logically arranged.
Expresses your own ideas about the subject.
No opinions-straight facts
No first person
Restates the main ideas and draws conclusions.
May also include your reactions/personal opinion here only
4-6 pages written material, double spaced _______/10
based on rough draft.
Spelling-no cemetery words ______/10
Your report must include at least one illustration of your own (e.g. draw a _______/10
diagram of photosynthesis, a picture of a cell).Book title, page #, and
explanation at bottom of page
Format: Indent, margins, giant spacing ______/5
Other information-*you must have a folder to keep info ______/5
Typed or Cursive Only.
Use one side of good binder paper (if written)
Use the same colored ink for the whole report.
blue or black ink only.
If typed, font size will be 12.
Font must be Times New Roman ONLY!
Pages are numbered
The bibliography goes on a separate page at the end of report.
Other information: You must have a folder to keep the report organized ** Do _______/5
not use plastic covers for individual pages.
Rough draft signed AND corrected by an adult _______/15
Dear Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s),
This research project is a very big part of your child’s third quarter grade. Although
some of the research will be done in class, most of this is something that is done on your
student’s own time. I recommend that you go over this assignment sheet with your child
and keep updated on their progress throughout the project. Please contact me if you have
any questions regarding the assignments or the expectations of the project. I feel it is very
worthwhile and your child will benefit enormously from it.
I have read over the assignment sheet with my child. We are both aware of the due dates
and the expectations.
Student Name: ______________________ Student signature: ____________________
Parent Signature_______________________________ Date____________
Parent e-mail address: ___________________________________
Parent phone number: ___________________________________
**Your child has indicated that they are interested in the following 5 topics. Please
review and help them choose one as their research topic. One research source, other than
internet, is due at school Monday, March 7.
Dear students and parents/guardians,
Plagiarism - the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of
another author and the representation of them as one's own original work. Cutting
and pasting information from a website onto a word document is
I have software that allows me to scan your paper/PowerPoint to determine if you
have plagiarized. Please be aware that if you turn in something that is plagiarized,
even one little sentence, you will receive a 0 on the project and will follow the
consequences for cheating.
It is not worth it!! Please write in YOUR OWN WORDS.
Please sign and return to Mrs. Basinski with your child.
Student Name: ______________________________________________
Student Signature: ___________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ______________________________________
Phone Number: _____________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________________________
Suggested Research Topic List
acid rain child abuse juvenile crime and
ADHD/Ritalin cholesterol justice
adoption cloning landfills
affirmative action college athletics left/right brain
Afghanistan (pro/con) medical ethics
aging corporal punishment militias
AIDS criminal sentencing nuclear weapons
airline safety cyber crime nutrition
airport security cults obesity
alcoholism death row appeals oil spills
Al Qaeda depression/anti- organ donors /
alternative energy depressants transplants
sources divorce osteoporosis
alternative medicine DNA testing ozone layer
Alzheimer’s domestic violence pet therapy
American Sign drugs in sports/steroids plea bargaining
Language eating disorders police brutality
amnesty elder abuse pollution
animal reintroduction electric cars prisons / prisoners
animal rights El Nino privacy rights
animal testing endometriosis radioactive waste
anorexia nervosa environmental hazards recession
anthrax euthanasia/assisted recycling
anti-bacterial products suicide right to die / assisted
artificial intelligence fetal tissue research suicide
asbestos freedom of speech road rage
athletic scholarships free trade / globalism school uniforms
automobile safety gambling school violence
automobile fuel genetic engineering SIDS (Sudden Infant
economy Genocide Death Syndrome)
bilingual education glass ceiling skin cancer
bioethics global warming solar power
bluegrass (music) gun control stem cell research
blues (music) hazardous waste stress
biological warfare hazing student loan debt
body image disorders herbal medicine SUV’s (fuel economy /
bulimia hijacking safety issues)
caffeine homelessness sweatshops
campaign finance home schooling television violence
reform hormones in livestock terrorism
capital punishment identity theft toxic waste
carjacking Illiteracy UFO’s / alien abduction
censorship immigration policies vandalism
chemical weapons internet stalking victims rights
video game violence
voting / elections
women in combat
Give packet – write 10 facts and list 5 topics that interest you
Write in due dates as a class
Take packet home to be signed
Discussed appropriate sources and bring in two by ________
Print note card ppt and pass out
Students write 15 pieces of information about the ppt
Use lab to find to online resources
Teach outline and do in class