I need to write a persuasive research paper about an illegal drug. Today’s date is April 1st. The paper is due June 1st. I have 60 days to get this done.
April 1st to April 6th – Complete Beginning Cycle. Start research by April 6th
April 7th to May 1st – Done with research and notes by May 1st. Start writing!
May 2nd to May 26th – Finish writing by May 26th. Time to reflect.
May 27th to June 1st – Pass it in on June 1st.
1. Review the assignment and rubric carefully.
The assignment sheet explains what you should do. The rubric explains how you will be graded. Teachers spend a lot of time writing these and expect that you read them. Put these papers in a safe place. Take special note of the following:
2. Determine the purpose of the assignment.
There are basically two types of research projects in high school:
Informative research projects ask you to gather information to define, explain, summarize, describe, or illustrate a topic. Informative projects ask to link ideas together and inform the reader. You may explain how things are connected. You may compare, contrast, cause and/or relate. Your thesis is the product of this analysis.
Examples of informative papers/projects:
Persuasive research projects ask you to gather information to assess, prove, justify, respond to, support, or argue a point of view. The topic needs to be debatable and/or controversial. You clearly state your argument in a strong thesis statement with the goal of persuading the reader. You use data, statistics, facts, and other evidence. You interpret this information to support your thesis.
Examples of persuasive papers/projects:
3. Make a plan.
Develop a timeline and choose a note-taking method.
Timeline: It is important to budget your time. Those who wait until the last minute are more likely to perform poorly, plagiarize, and skip steps that will lead to a lower grade. Your next research project will be that much harder to do. Using the date due as the end date, work backwards, and estimate time for the following:
Note Taking Methods: I’ve witnessed students begin taking notes by typing in a computer, or writing on random sheets of paper, not thinking about how they're going to organize these notes later. For a major research project, use a method. Some students like note cards or notebook paper. If you type better than you write, by all means, use a computer.
Whatever you do, make sure that the system is portable. Don't type all your notes on your home computer or the computers at school. Take your notes with you so you can work on them at school and at home. The following are note-taking methods. For details on these methods, go to the section on Taking Notes.