Research Paper
                            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.
    Bibliography

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.
  3. Length:
     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).
   4. Sources:
      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.
   5. Style:
      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!
 6. Bibliography:
      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.
Typing Rules
• 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!

                                  Bibliography (example)
  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 &
Page Number.

  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.

 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

Outline                                                                                 ______/10
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”
BODY:                                                                                   _______/25

          Contains separate paragraphs that express each main idea with
              supporting details.
          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

CONCLUSION:                                                                             _______/5

          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
All components
Style:                                                                                  _______/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!
         Double spaced
         Pages are numbered

         Bibliography:                                                                 _______/10
          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.

Mrs. Basinski

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
vitamin supplements
voting / elections
weight-loss drugs
welfare reform
wind power
women in combat

Research Report

      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


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