Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing

Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Students will use scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper about color psychology provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks.

Featured Resources

  • Research Paper Scaffold : This handout guides students in researching and organizing the information they need for writing their research paper.
  • Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection : Students use Internet search engines and Web analysis checklists to evaluate online resources then write annotations that explain how and why the resources will be valuable to the class.

From Theory to Practice

  • Research paper scaffolding provides a temporary linguistic tool to assist students as they organize their expository writing. Scaffolding assists students in moving to levels of language performance they might be unable to obtain without this support.
  • An instructional scaffold essentially changes the role of the teacher from that of giver of knowledge to leader in inquiry. This relationship encourages creative intelligence on the part of both teacher and student, which in turn may broaden the notion of literacy so as to include more learning styles.
  • An instructional scaffold is useful for expository writing because of its basis in problem solving, ownership, appropriateness, support, collaboration, and internalization. It allows students to start where they are comfortable, and provides a genre-based structure for organizing creative ideas.
  • In order for students to take ownership of knowledge, they must learn to rework raw information, use details and facts, and write.
  • Teaching writing should involve direct, explicit comprehension instruction, effective instructional principles embedded in content, motivation and self-directed learning, and text-based collaborative learning to improve middle school and high school literacy.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • Research Paper Scaffold
  • Example Research Paper Scaffold
  • Example Student Research Paper
  • Internet Citation Checklist
  • Research Paper Scoring Rubric
  • Permission Form (optional)

Preparation

Student objectives.

Students will

  • Formulate a clear thesis that conveys a perspective on the subject of their research
  • Practice research skills, including evaluation of sources, paraphrasing and summarizing relevant information, and citation of sources used
  • Logically group and sequence ideas in expository writing
  • Organize and display information on charts, maps, and graphs

Session 1: Research Question

You should approve students’ final research questions before Session 2. You may also wish to send home the Permission Form with students, to make parents aware of their child’s research topic and the project due dates.

Session 2: Literature Review—Search

Prior to this session, you may want to introduce or review Internet search techniques using the lesson Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection . You may also wish to consult with the school librarian regarding subscription databases designed specifically for student research, which may be available through the school or public library. Using these types of resources will help to ensure that students find relevant and appropriate information. Using Internet search engines such as Google can be overwhelming to beginning researchers.

Session 3: Literature Review—Notes

Students need to bring their articles to this session. For large classes, have students highlight relevant information (as described below) and submit the articles for assessment before beginning the session.

Checking Literature Review entries on the same day is best practice, as it gives both you and the student time to plan and address any problems before proceeding. Note that in the finished product this literature review section will be about six paragraphs, so students need to gather enough facts to fit this format.

Session 4: Analysis

Session 5: original research.

Students should design some form of original research appropriate to their topics, but they do not necessarily have to conduct the experiments or surveys they propose. Depending on the appropriateness of the original research proposals, the time involved, and the resources available, you may prefer to omit the actual research or use it as an extension activity.

Session 6: Results (optional)

Session 7: conclusion, session 8: references and writing final draft, student assessment / reflections.

  • Observe students’ participation in the initial stages of the Research Paper Scaffold and promptly address any errors or misconceptions about the research process.
  • Observe students and provide feedback as they complete each section of the Research Paper Scaffold.
  • Provide a safe environment where students will want to take risks in exploring ideas. During collaborative work, offer feedback and guidance to those who need encouragement or require assistance in learning cooperation and tolerance.
  • Involve students in using the Research Paper Scoring Rubric for final evaluation of the research paper. Go over this rubric during Session 8, before they write their final drafts.
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The Curriculum Corner 4-5-6

Writing Research Papers

how to write a research paper middle school

This research writing unit of study is designed to guide your students through the research writing process. 

This is a free writing unit of study from the curriculum corner..

This research writing collection includes mini lessons, anchor charts and more.

Mention the words “research writing” in an intermediate classroom and you might be met with moans & groans or perhaps even see fear in the eyes of some students. 

In all seriousness though, writing can be intimidating for many children in our classrooms.

Guided and focused your mini-lessons can be helpful for students. Also, the more examples you can get students to interact with, the more they will understand the expectations. Finally, the more modeling that you do for them, the more they can view writing as less overwhelming.

Download the free resources to accompany this unit of study at the bottom of this post.

writing research papers

Lesson Ideas for Writing Research Papers:

Lesson 1: Noticings

  • Begin by getting your students familiar with what research writing looks like.
  • Have them work in pairs or small groups to read pieces of research writing. They will record their “noticings” about the writing.
  • Then, come together in a community circle to discuss and create a class anchor chart.
  • You will find a blank anchor chart and one with noticings already recorded.
  • Here is a link we found that contains some student-created examples of research writing: Student Writing Models .  Simply scroll through the grade levels for different samples.

Lesson 2: Opinion vs. Facts

  • Begin with a brief review of opinions vs. facts.
  • Use the six paragraphs we share in our resources to give your students some practice differentiating between the two.
  • Each of the paragraphs contains both opinions and facts.
  • Students will read the paragraphs and record the facts and opinions from their paragraph onto the recording page.

FREEBIE! Research Writing Unit of Study FREE from The Curriculum Corner - mini lessons, anchor charts, graphic organizers & more!

Lesson 3: Choosing a Topic

  • We know that providing choice will allow for greater engagement and success.  We want to help students to narrow their choices by giving them some guidance.
  • Gather students and begin a discussion about choosing a research topic.
  • Ask them to think of topics they already know a little about, have interest in or is important/relevant to their lives.
  • You might pose the question “Why is that important in research writing?” and discuss their thoughts.
  • For this lesson we have provided a page where students can individually brainstorm topics. You can circulate the room during this process to help students to narrow their topic.
  • If you feel your class may need help to narrow their choices, think about giving them a broad topic, such as animals, and then have them choose a sub-topics from the bigger umbrella topic.
  • If you feel like your students need an added level of support you might think about creating an anchor chart from a class brainstorming session about possible appropriate topics and then display this in your room.

Lesson 4: Where to Find Accurate Information about a Topic

  • Help students to begin to understand where they might find accurate information about their topics.
  • Where are the places you can begin to look for information about your topic?  
  • Why would the copyright date on a book be important in doing research?  
  • Is everything on the internet true?
  • Why is it important for your research to contain accurate information?  
  • Where do you begin to look for information that will accurate
  • One way to help students think through appropriate sites on the internet is to pass out the ten cards provided in our resources.
  • Have students read the cards and discuss what kind of a website it is.
  • Talk about whether they know or have heard of the sites. Would they consider the sites “trusted” enough to gain knowledge about their topics.  Then have them talk about why or why not these sites would be trusted.

Research Writing Unit of Study FREE from The Curriculum Corner - mini lessons, anchor charts, graphic organizers & more! Completely free!!!

Lesson 5: Double Check Your Facts

  • We want our students to get into the habit of double checking their facts. This will help ensure what they are learning is correct.
  • To do this, you might want them to practice this skill.  In this lesson use the page provided to have each student find and record a fact about a topic of their choice on the internet.
  • The page then has students write where they found the fact, and also has them list a corresponding fact from a different source.
  • Finally they determine if the facts are the same or different. You may have to further the lesson by discussing approximations.  For example one site might say that an animal can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, while another might state that the animal weighs between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds.
  • You will need to talk about how those facts might both be accurate even though they are stated differently. If they seem to check out, then help students generalize the information for a research paper.

Research Writing Unit of Study FREE from The Curriculum Corner - mini lessons, anchor charts, graphic organizers & more! FREEBIE UNIT!

Lesson 6: Taking Notes

  • Sometimes giving students resources and a blank sheet of notebook paper can be too overwhelming. You have students who simply copy everything from the text or you have others who have no idea where to start.
  • We need to guide them to read to pull out facts & relevant information.
  • For this lesson we have provided various templates for note-taking. Whatever method or template you choose for helping your students learn to take notes, model it several times in front of the class Demonstrating for them how to write the notes as they read about a topic will be helpful.
  • After initial teaching, you may find that you need to pull small groups for extra practice. Some might need a one-on-one conference.

Lesson 7: Paraphrasing vs. Plagiarism

  • Students will need to learn how to paraphrase their research. This will help them avoid plagiarizing words from their resources.
  • Discuss why plagiarizing is something that they shouldn’t do in their writing because it is “stealing” another’s words.
  •  Tell the students that there is a way to use another author’s ideas in an appropriate way without copying their words. First, they need to paraphrase and then they need to cite the source where they found the information.
  • Display the anchor chart “What is Paraphrasing” and discuss the definition.
  • Next, pass out copies of “My Own Words” to pairs of students. Explain that their task will be to find a paragraph or passage in a nonfiction book. They will paraphrase the author’s words, keeping the same ideas.
  • Finally, gather students together to share their paraphrasing efforts. Each pair of students can read the paragraph/passage from the book and then the paraphrasing that they wrote.  Discuss the words and decisions the students made in their paraphrasing.

Lesson 8: Word Choice in Research Writing

  • To help students think about making their writing more interesting, have them brainstorm words that could add voice to their writing.
  • After working independently on the word choice page provided, have them meet with partners. They can talk about nouns, verbs and adjectives that relate to their topic.

Lesson 9: Writing Sketch

  • This graphic organizer can be used for students to plan their writing.
  • If your writers are more advanced you might choose to skip this step, It could be a big help for students who have taken notes and have too many facts.  
  • Be sure to model how to write the facts & ideas from your notes onto your planner. Students will see first hand how to make sure to only add what is relevant and important to their writing.
  • Some questions you can pose: What will be the focus of each paragraph in your research writing?  What do you want to include from your notes?  Why is it important to the research?  What facts don’t quite fit into the paragraphs you’ve decided upon? Should you change some of the paragraphs so that they better support the research and what you want your readers to learn?
  • Once the planner is finished, they can use it as a guide to help their writing stay focused.

Lesson 10: Writing Introductions to Research

  • Teach students how to think about their introduction as a way to grab their readers’ attention.
  • Our anchor chart has some ideas to get writers started. You might also extend the anchor chart to include ideas from your students. (We have included some blank anchor charts at the very bottom of the download.)
  • Discuss the parts that need to be included in the introductory paragraph first. Then, move on to some of the ways that might engage readers. As always be sure to model how you would go about writing an introductory paragraph using your Writing Sketch.

Lesson 11: Developing Your Paragraphs

  • Next, help students stay focused and develop complete paragraphs.The next graphic organizer will get them to think through the specifics of each paragraph.
  • Again, this may not be needed for all of the students in your classroom, but it might be something to think about using with all of them for at least their very first attempts at writing research papers.
  •  Model how to use the Writing Sketch planner to develop their paragraphs more fully on this organizer.

Lesson 12: Writing a Conclusion to Research 

Providing a solid concluding paragraph is also something that needs modeled for your students.

Use the anchor chart with ideas to get you started with the modeling of this as well.

***If you would like for your students to write their first drafts on something that continues to support organization for them, you will find guided lined paper.

Lesson 13: Research Rendezvous Celebration

We love ending a unit of study with a celebration.

For this particular celebration, you might invite students to bring in a visual to help illustrate their topic.  

Invite parents and other special adults from your building to the celebration and think about providing a snack.  

You can also print out our “Congrats Author!” certificates to give to each student during the celebration.

Free unit! Research Writing Unit of Study FREE from The Curriculum Corner - mini lessons, anchor charts, graphic organizers & more!

All the research writing resources described above can be found in one download here:

Writing a Research Paper Resources

As with all of our resources, The Curriculum Corner creates these for free classroom use. Our products may not be sold. You may print and copy for your personal classroom use. These are also great for home school families!

You may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Dulce Hernandez

Thursday 8th of April 2021

Thank you so much. I tutor non-English speakers from K-9th grade. These resources are a God send!!

Monday 25th of May 2020

I cant download it, where do you download it?

Jill & Cathy

Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Here is the link: https://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner456/wp-content/pdf/writing/research/researchwriting.pdf

Graphic Organizer for Research Papers - The Curriculum Corner 4-5-6

Tuesday 19th of November 2019

[…] You might also like our unit of study for writing research papers:How to Write a Research Paper […]

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Thursday 14th of November 2019

[…] Writing Research Papers […]

Language Arts in the Middle School and High School Years

Thursday 11th of May 2017

[…] The middle school years can also be a good time to introduce writing a short research paper if your student is ready.  Introduce how to do research, how to make an outline, and how to write a short research paper, including how to cite sources. Here’s a website that has a free introduction to writing research papers: https://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner456/writing-research-papers/. […]

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Simple Guideline On How To Write A Research Paper For Middle School

As a middle school student writing a research paper there are a few key things you need to know. You need to pick a topic that suits your paper requirements. If you are writing a paper for an English class, you may not be able to get away with writing on the topic of economics, unless otherwise approves by your teacher. The topic you pick must be precise. You won't get very far if you pick a large topic for a small paper.

For example, writing a history research paper on the effects of slavery on the southern states is far too broad a topic, especially for a research paper that is between two and five pages. Instead, narrow down your topic to something a bit more manageable.

After you have your topic, you should follow these rules for writing the research paper:

  • The first is writing a thesis statement. The thesis explains what your paper is about and what problem you are trying to answer. You want the thesis statement to be the last sentence of your introduction.
  • The introduction is the first paragraph which gives the reader background. So if your topic relates to slavery then your introduction might include a sentence about what slavery was in America and how long it lasted.
  • After the introduction you want the body of the research paper. The body should be three to five paragraphs based on your requirements. Each paragraph should have a specific point made followed by evidence to back up the point. That means you need to find three points to support your thesis statement. If, for example, your thesis is that cell phones should not be permitted in classrooms, each paragraph in your body should explain one point why not with evidence to back it up.
  • And speaking of evidence, what is it really? Evidence is data or facts or quotes from professionals that you include to support your statement. If you claim that teenagers cheat with their cell phones in class, you should find a quote or statistic related to the number of students who cheat.

Once you are done you need to conclude your paper with the concluding paragraph. This paragraph is where you mention your thesis statement again in a different way and mention your main reasons again. By using these tips you will be well on your way to completing a great research paper for whichever class you are in.

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How to Create a Strong Research Paper: A Guide for Middle School Students

When a middle school student first begins the research paper process, he or she has a lot of writing rules to remember. And if the child has to write an APA and a MLA paper at different times, then there are even more things to remember. Use this guide as this very important foundation is built.

Step to Remember

  • Pick a good topic with lots of facts
  • Have 2-4 main ideas
  • Use academic and credible research
  • Read the teacher instructions and follow the teacher instructions
  • Bookmark an APA and a MLA website for easy reference
  • Learn the difference between a reference page, a works cited, and a bibliography
  • Go to any extra help given
  • Learn how to do an in-text citation, know the APA and the MLA way
  • Write in third person

There are different tips for different styles of papers. You have to know what style your teacher wants. For example, an informative essay is composed much differently than a cause and effect paper. Know your types and ask questions if you are not sure what to do. The layout of the paper matters, too. So follow these formatting tips:

Formatting Tips

  • Use size 12 font
  • Use a plain font such as Times New Roman or Arial
  • Double space
  • Write using a formal tone
  • Use correct spelling
  • Use correct grammar
  • Do not use slang or contractions
  • Have the length that the teacher required for the paper
  • Use the right number and type of sources the teacher asked for such as magazines, interviews, videos, and studies
  • Your teacher will want some or all of these items to be submitted
  • A rough draft
  • A final draft
  • Some type of reference sheet
  • A possible electronic submission
  • A working outline
  • Hard copies of all the sources you used and a link to them if they are online
  • Supplemental hard copies of materials such as an interview transcript

One of the best ways to create a successful middle school paper is to pick a topic that you like if the teacher gives you the option of selecting your own topic. You will always write a better paper on a subject that you enjoy and have an interest in. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic you love.

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How to Teach Middle School Students to Write Research Papers

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Middle school students are in the unique position of transitioning from writing simple, elementary-level pieces to fully developed essays. That said, the research paper is the most complex form of academic writing, and you'll need to walk them through the entire writing process. You should also stress how important it is that they treat writing as a process, so they understand that prewriting and revision are just as crucial as writing their actual drafts.

The Assignment

The first thing you must do is explain the mode of the essay and all its accompanying rules and procedures. Each student will use evidence to support a specific claim, which is known as a thesis. Also detail the parameters of the assignment: the expected length of the paper, its due date -- including due dates for outlines, first drafts, etc. -- as well as how many outside sources each student will have to cite. Then, discuss the format for the essay, which will probably be MLA format. If possible, distribute printouts that contain all of this information in a neat and organized manner. You can even include a sample paper for later reference.

Prewriting Procedures

Spend at least half the time allotted for the paper on prewriting. Begin with lessons on brainstorming and determining whether students' theses will work for the assignment. Then, move on to conducting research. Explain the differences between primary resources and secondary resources, and how your students can use each to strengthen their essays. Teach them how to use note cards to organize and order their information to best present their arguments. Once their ideas are in place, walk them through the process of outlining. Stress to them that outlines are blueprints for essays, and that a strong outline can reduce stress while drafting and editing.

The Drafting Process

As soon as the students have solid outlines, have them begin their first drafts. Encourage them to stick strictly to their outlines, and to focus on transitioning smoothly from each topic of discussion to the next. Once they've completed first drafts, have students work in groups to read and critique the structure of each others' arguments. Have each student make notes about what was confusing about each essay, and also what he or she found compelling. Have them evaluate introductions, bodies and conclusions. Students can then compile feedback from their peers and see if there are any consistent difficulties with the readings.

Editing and Revision

This final stage provides opportunities for collaborative learning and group work. Once students have made any structural changes to their essays, you can place them again into groups and have them proofread each others' papers. This is also the time when you want to revisit the lesson on formatting: MLA headings, citations and bibliography pages. You can even incorporate a short citation exercise to give them a slight break from the assignment. Assign very short pieces about topics of their choosing. The only requirement is they must use an outside source for the information and cite it properly both in the text and at the end of the piece.

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Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."

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How to Help Middle School Students Develop Research Skills

As the research skills you teach middle school students can last them all their lives, it’s essential to help them develop good habits early in their school careers.

Research skills are useful in nearly every subject, whether it’s English, math, social studies or science, and they will continue to pay off for students every day of their schooling. Understanding the most important research skills that middle school students need will help reach these kids and make a long-term difference.

The research process

It is important for every student to understand that research is actually a process rather than something that happens naturally. The best researchers develop a process that allows them to fully comprehend the ideas they are researching and also turn the data into information that is usable for whatever the end purpose may be. Here is an example of a research process that you may consider using when teaching research skills in your middle school classroom:

  • Form a question : Research should be targeted; develop a question you want to answer before progressing any further.
  • Decide on resources : Not every resource is good for every question/problem. Identify the resources that will work best for you.
  • Gather raw data : First, gather information in its rawest form; do not attempt to make sense of it at this point.
  • Sort the data : After you have the information in front of you, decide what is important to you and how you will use it. Not all data will be reliable or worthwhile.
  • Process information : Turn the data into usable information. This processing step may take longer than the rest combined. This is where you really see your data shape into something exciting.
  • Create a final piece : This is where you would write a research paper, create a project or build a graph or other visual piece with your information. This may or may not be a formal document.
  • Evaluate : Look back on the process. Where did you experience success and failure? Did you find an answer to your question?

This process can be adjusted to suit the needs of your particular classroom or the project you are working on. Just remember that the goal is not only to find the data for this particular project, but to teach your students research skills that will help them in the long run.

Research is a very important part of the learning process as well as being useful in real-life once the student graduates. Middle school is a great time to develop these skills as many high school teachers expect that students already have this knowledge.

Students who are well-prepared as researchers will be able to handle nearly any assignment that comes their way. Finding new ways to teach research skills to middle school students need will be a challenge, but the results are well worth it as you see your students succeed in your classroom and set the stage for further success throughout their schooling experience.

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Assigning Research Projects in Middle School: Tips for Teachers on Teaching the Proper Structure of a Research Project

Assigning Research Projects in Middle School: Tips for Teachers on Teaching the Proper Structure of a Research Project

Middle school students generally need to learn the correct way to do a research paper. They have been “researching” for years.

However, they don’t always know how to do it properly. When students are asked to research and not given instruction on the proper way to format a research paper, teachers might receive unusual papers.

Common Mistakes

Students can clean up their mistakes when teachers are clear about what they expect and give examples. However, when students are simply told to research and turn in a paper, blunders will happen. An almost “laughable” mistake made by middle school students was listing Google.com as the only source.

As for plagiarism, students go to great lengths to get away with it. Or, they mistakenly do it. A middle school student copied a whole section from an online encyclopedia and thought that it was okay because he listed the source on the works cited page. One student who was trying desperately not to plagiarize placed the whole text of her research paper in quotation marks. These types of errors will continue to happen if teachers are not clear about their expectations.

Teacher Preparation

Teachers need to gather together resource books or examples of research papers , find acceptable paper format websites, write a step-by-step project sheet and put together a grading sheet or rubric for the research project . Teachers need to decide what format they want their students to follow: MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.

The following are tips to help with the planning:

  • For the first research paper, assign a short one (1-3 pages) so that the format is the focus.
  • The Writer’s Inc or Write Source book by Great Source is a great reference book that includes example research papers. However, there are many online resources as well.
  • The works cited page, reference pager or bibliography require a great deal of class time. Instructing students to make a proper reference page with all of the periods and spacing correct can be a maddening experience. The S_on of Citation Machine_ website is a very helpful website.
  • Give students a rubric or grade sheet before they begin working on the research paper.

Example Reserach Paper Grade Sheet

Format (25 points)

  • Correct title, page header, page number
  • Spacing and margins
  • Sections in correct order
  • Proper works cited page, reference page or bibliography

Structure & Organization (25 points)

  • Strong thesis statement
  • Attention-getting introductory paragraph
  • Topic sentences relates to thesis statement
  • Main points are in a logical order
  • Main points flow well with transitons
  • Conclusion wraps up paper

Grammar 25 (points)

  • Correct grammar, spelling, usage and mechanics

Content (25 points)

  • Not repetitive, fresh, interesting
  • Not copied from original source
  • Proves and/or supports thesis statement
  • Provides enough credible information

Writing the Research Paper

Students need to begin their research project with an interesting topic. However, they need to select one that is not too broad. They should come up with one sentence that tells what the paper will be about or a thesis statement to focus their research.

Teachers can require note cards or have students highlight printed notes from the Internet. Students should create an outline to organize their information. Then, they should write a rough draft. Teachers can read the rough drafts and check that students did not plagiarize. Last, students need to type their research paper in the correct format by using the resources they have been given.

Research projects are a time consuming unit. The more organized the teacher is before embarking on this activity, the better the papers will be in the end.

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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

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Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

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how to write a research paper middle school

There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

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how to write a research paper middle school

A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible. You can speed up the proofreading process by using the AI proofreader .

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

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Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

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Part ii: how much, and what, do today’s middle and high school students write.

AP and NWP teachers participating in the survey report giving students written assignments ranging from research papers to short responses, journaling, and creative writing.  The type and frequency of written assignments varies considerably by the subject being taught and grade level, but on the whole these AP and NWP teachers place tremendous value on formal written assignments.

These teachers also point out that “writing” can be defined more broadly than written work assigned in an academic setting.  In focus groups, many teachers noted that in addition to the “formal” writing students do for class, they are engaged in many forms of writing outside of the classroom, much of it using digital tools and platforms such as texting and online social networking.  How to define these new types of writing and determining what impact they have on the “formal writing” students do in class remains an open question for many of these teachers.  But most agree that among  students , “writing” continues to be defined as assignments they are  required  to do for school, as opposed to textual expression they engage in on their own time.

The writing assignments AP and NWP teachers give their students

The survey quantified what types of writing exercises AP and NWP teachers assign to their middle and high school students.  As the graphic below suggests, among this group of teachers, short essays and journaling are the most commonly assigned writing tasks.  More than half of the sample (58%) report having their students write short essays, short responses, or opinion pieces at least once a week.  Four in ten (41%) have students journal on a weekly basis.

Research papers, multimedia assignments, and creative writing in the form of plays or short stories, while not assigned by many teachers on a weekly basis, are assigned at some point during the academic year by most of these AP and NWP teachers. Just over three-quarters report having students complete a research paper (77%) or a multimedia project (77%) at some point during the current academic year.  Two-thirds (66%) have students engage in creative writing, such as poetry, a play, a short story or piece of fiction, at least once a year.

In contrast, more specialized types of writing assignments such as writing out mathematical problems or proofs, writing up labs, writing computer programs, designing computer games, and writing music or lyrics are assigned rarely, if ever, by most AP and NWP teachers surveyed.

Figure 3

The type and frequency of written work assigned is obviously highly dependent on the subject matter being taught.  Among Math teachers, for example, 81% report having students write out mathematical problems, proofs or concepts on at least a weekly basis.  And among science teachers, 51% have students write up labs at least once a week and 56% have students write out mathematical concepts or problems.  All of these percentages are much higher than those for teachers of other subjects.

In addition, while 94% of English teachers and 83% of history/social studies teachers had their students write a research paper in the 2011-2012 academic year, that figure is 68% among science teachers and 36% among math teachers.  A similar pattern emerges for multimedia or mixed media assignments, with English (84%) and history/social studies (82%) teachers most likely and math teachers least likely (51%) to have given their students this type of assignment in the prior academic year. Science teachers (70%) fall in the middle.

Figure 4

How do teachers—and students—define “writing” in the digital world?

A fundamental question posed to the AP and NWP teachers in the current study is how they and their students define “writing.”  Specifically, we asked teachers which forms of writing in the digital age—academic writing assignments, texting, social network site posts, blogs, tweets, etc.— are “writing” in their eyes, and which are not?  In a 2008 Pew Internet survey of teens on this topic, the consensus among 12-17 year-olds was that there is a fundamental distinction between their digital communications with friends and family and the more formal writing they do for school or for their own purposes.  Only the latter is considered “writing” in teens’ eyes. 9  Survey and focus group findings in the current study indicate this perception has not changed, either among students or their teachers, and that there remains a fairly strong conceptual divide between “formal” and “informal” writing.  For both groups, much day-to-day digital communication falls into the latter category.

Asked in focus groups to clarify what, specifically, they consider “writing,” the majority of teachers indicated that “formal writing” and “creative writing” fit their definition of “writing.”  Slightly fewer said they would classify “blogging” as writing, and very few said they would consider texting as a form of writing. Asked how they thought students would categorize these same writing forms, the results are comparable.  Most of these teachers do not think their students consider texting writing, but rather confine their definition of “writing” to those exercises they are required to do for school.  A handful of teachers went even further, saying that some students define “writing” only as something that requires them to use complete sentences.

On how students define “writing,” AP and NWP teachers say…

Most [students] define writing as something their teachers MAKE them do. While they do see it as necessary in academics (and even sometimes in life), few see the value and purpose in practicing writing. Most students today (even AP students) do not write enough, either in or out of the classroom.

Our kids, over the course of their lives, will write infinitely more than we ever will. I’m 43 years old–half of my life was lived without email, texting, social networking, etc. The fact is, that is writing. Kids have more access points today and those access points are literally at our fingertips and beeping and buzzing blipping…nudging us to write. Incredibly though, students do not see this as “writing.”

Because students still write journals in some classes, I think they still distinguish this from blogging.  I think they see journaling as writing, but not blogging quite yet.  Although, I think that is starting to change as they start blogging for classes.  I think blogging will be viewed as more official writing in the future.

While most AP and NWP teachers in the focus groups said they do not consider texting, blogging, or micro-blogging (posting on social network sites) “writing” in the traditional sense, they believe these digital formats do spur thinking and encourage communication among their students, which may lead to deeper thinking and self-expression. Several teachers characterized these shorter online posts as “pre-writing” that may get a student engaged in a topic or discourse enough to want to write a longer piece about it or explore it further.  In some teachers’ eyes, these digital forms of expression are building blocks for lengthier, more formal writing.

On newer digital forms of writing, AP and NWP teachers say…

These digital technologies give students a reason to write. Social media and texting are very engaging for them; they write reflexively. It is not classic academic writing for sure. But, they do use the written language to communicate. This requires a certain amount of composition activity. Texters must decide the most efficient set of words to include in their message in order to convey meaning. These activities are “pre-academic writing”, but nevertheless for some kids they are formative processes that can lead to more sophisticated composition skills.

Students can write and voice ideas in many different registers. It is often not “academic” writing in the sense that many teachers would consider. However, I think the kinds of real world applicability of student work in classes makes these new digital tools much more relevant for students beyond their schooling years.

I read a fascinating article that talked about the impact of micro-blogging on writing. The piece started talking about how everyone just assumed that when things like Twitter and Facebook began to become more prevalent we would see a decline in our society’s willingness to take the time to write. What the article went on to explain however, was that many people who blurt something out on these sites are also actually taking the time to digest what others are saying on the matter, collaborate or chat with the others who are talking about the same thing, and then in turn they feel more compelled to go on and take the time to compose a longer piece of writing – such as a blog post. I see a lot of truth to this idea. In essence, the micro-blog has become to some their pre-writing.

Teachers in the study say today’s students are expressing themselves more, and more often

Though most AP and NWP teachers who participated in the study do not characterize activities such as texting, tweeting, blogging or micro-blogging on social network sites as “writing” in the strictest sense, there is almost universal agreement among them that the digital ecology in which today’s teens live provides many more avenues for personal expression.  In addition, most agree that many forms of personal expression are more accessible to the average student than has been the case for past generations.  Ultimately, most of these teachers see their students expressing themselves in text (and other formats) more so than was the case when they themselves were in middle and high school.  Asked in focus groups, if students today simply write more, in sheer quantity, most participating AP and NWP teachers agree this is the case.

On whether today’s students write more than prior generations, AP and NWP teachers say…

Digital technologies provide many opportunities to practice writing through participation. Mobile technologies allow one to write, capture, edit, & publish while on the go, anytime, anywhere. Be it at a museum, walk through the old neighborhood, or on a wilderness hike. Writing is no longer limited to a designated time or location.

They enjoy writing.  When you talk to these kids, they like to write.  They don’t like to write when you tell them, ‘I want you to write this.’  But in fact they love to write, and when you look at what they’re writing, they’re talking about themselves and expressing themselves.  Maybe not well but they are speaking their minds, so they are, I think, exploring who they are and what they’re about and they’re reading what other people are writing and looking at, and exploring other people’s feelings and ideas.

The informality of the written word and how students use the language is the downside of technology, but the upside is that students are communicating in the written form much more than I ever did at their age.

The ease of accessibility brought via technology has opened the availability of writing opportunities for students today. Some devices have tempted students to write everything as if it were a text, but teacher focus on this issue can channel the text craze into more academic writing. I think like all technologies, there are good and bad points, but at least the thought processes of writing are taking place.

I think they’re writing more, more than ever, and I think they have a much more positive outlook on writing, not just because of the school…you have Facebook, you have email, you have Twitter…they’re writing constantly.

I was going to echo what [other teacher] said about the various increased avenues of expression. That is a good thing, without question. Just how they’re being used and not used is another topic of discussion, but in terms of the impact of technology on writing, we are becoming a society that is almost more so than ever before communicating with each other through the internet word. I won’t even say the written word. I’ll say the digital word if that even becomes an expression. That’s what we’re doing.

92% of AP and NWP teachers surveyed describe writing assignments as “essential” to the formal learning process, and “writing effectively” tops their list of skills students need to be successful in life

The survey gauged AP and NWP teachers’ sense of the overall importance of incorporating writing into formal learning today, and asked them to rank the value of effective writing vis a vis other skills students may need to be successful in life.  The vast majority (92%) say the incorporation of writing assignments in formal learning is “essential,” with another 7% saying it is “important, but not essential.”  Only 11 teachers out of more than 2,000 describe the incorporation of writing assignments into formal learning as “only somewhat important” or “not important.”

These results are not surprising, given the large number of writing teachers in the sample and the focus on formal writing in much of the U.S. educational system.  But the high value placed on writing extends across AP and NWP teachers of all subjects.  While 99% of English teachers in the sample say that writing assignments are essential to the formal learning process, the same is true for 93% of history/social studies teachers, 86% of science teachers, and 78% of math teachers.

Asked to place a value on various skills today’s students may need in the future, “writing effectively” tops the list of essential skills, along with “judging the quality of information.” 10  Each of these skills is described as “essential” by 91% of AP and NWP teachers surveyed.  Again, while large majorities of teachers of all subjects respond this way, English teachers are slightly more likely than others to say that “writing effectively” is an “essential” skill for students’ future success.

Figure 5

Other skills relevant to the current digital culture also rank high as life skills, with large majorities of these teachers saying that “behaving responsibly online” (85%) and “understanding privacy issues surrounding online and digital content” (78%) are “essential” to students’ success later in life. Skills that fewer of these AP and NWP teachers view as essential for students’ success in life include “presenting themselves effectively in online social networking sites” and “working with audio, video, or graphic content.” Fewer than one in three AP and NWP teachers in the sample describes either of these skills as “essential” to their students’ futures, though pluralities do describe each of these skills “important, but not essential.”

Figure 6

Do AP and NWP teachers see continued value in longer writing assignments?

The tremendous value most AP and NWP teachers place on writing of all forms, and particularly “formal” writing, was reflected throughout focus group discussions.  For some AP and NWP teachers, the extent to which today’s middle and high school students engage in what many see as “informal” writing means that “formal” writing assignments are more critical than ever.  Moreover, many see tremendous value in longer writing assignments that require students to organize their thoughts and fully develop complex ideas (particularly because they often have to present ideas on standardized tests in this format).  They see longer, formal writing assignments as an important juxtaposition to the more informal and often more truncated styles of expression in which their students regularly engage.  Throughout focus groups, AP and NWP teachers expressed the belief that students must master all styles of writing in order to be successful across social domains and to communicate with different audiences.

On the value of longer writing assignments in the digital world, AP and NWP teachers say…

There is great purpose and value in teaching students to write long and formal texts. Again, there are a whole lot of ideas that simply cannot be reduced simply without serious distortion or reduction. Consequently, developing complex ideas and thinking often requires longer texts. Writing is a demonstration of thinking, after all. So the deeper and more complex the thinking, the more that is reflected in the writing. As for formal texts, academia certainly requires a greater level of formality but so does a lot of work in the political, legal, and commercial world. Formal writing is almost always a factor that can be used for exclusion. Inability to write formal texts potentially robs students of voice and power. Arguably more important is the ability to recognize and adjust to the context that is appropriate for a given purpose. So knowing when and how to write with greater formality is an essential skill.

The organization and critical thinking skills that must be employed when students write a longer, more formal piece are skills that will students to become better, more engaged citizens. The processes of brainstorming, researching, evaluating, selecting, analyzing, synthesizing, revising are all skills that help students become more critical citizens, more discerning consumers, and better problem-solvers.

To carry an idea out to see if it is “true” to the thinker or not, I think this is so important. I want students to grapple with the complexity of a subject, to see it from all sides by way of a formal written response. Further, I think breaking down that response into its finer parts help me to teach the components that would go into an extended response. An example of this would be a section of their packet simply titled, DEFINITION. Before going into their response, I ask my students to define their terms and to set their parameters for the paper, not only as a service to their readers, but as a guidepost for themselves.

Writing is thinking—and, quite honestly, I don’t think any of us fully knows what our writing is (will be) about until we write it. Writing develops our thoughts and allows us to grapple with the “whats” and the “whys” of life. In this respect, writing informal and formal texts serves as role playing exercises as much as they do anything else. It is practice in being critical, analytical, reflective, informative and so on. We’re shipping young people out into the world where they are going to have to buy a car, a lawn mower, a stove…and they are going to want to read informative reviews before they spend their money. Writing it allows us to become familiar with it–we may never write an informative review once we leave school, but some…many…will want to read reviews before they spend their own money on something. Beyond buying something, I want to emphasize “writing is thinking is role play for life” as a cross-curricular ideal that too often becomes buried as just an English class objective.

Long texts give students the opportunity to deeply analyze an idea. Longer texts are essential to articulate complex concepts and beliefs. Although not everyone will be asked to write a long academic paper for their jobs, the reflection that goes behind this type of writing is critical for everyone. The process of making thinking transparent and clear to others is essential to knowing the why behind the what. The notion of form al texts supports the idea of knowing how to communicate with various audiences. The more registers a person has in his or her arsenal, the more effective that person will be when communicating with a diverse group.

I think that there is value of having long and well organized thoughts about a topic. I think that when we delve deeply into a topic and have to provide an argument or exploration then we must be able to write logically and coherently and be able to develop a point without getting off track. We must be able to write for an audience and provide evidence and delve deeply. I think there are also audience needs to be met when deciding on what level of formality we will write with so I see the value in teaching formal writing. People have to produce reports for colleagues and prospective business partners and college professors so this is obviously a skill that needs to be learned.

Writing is crucial across the curriculum. Good writing teachers teach students how to communicate a logical argument that is well-researched. At my school, I am impressed with the amount our English and history students write as well as the amount our science students write. The IB program does not have many multiple choice tests; therefore, students have to be good writers to perform well on IB exams… The IB program places such a heavy emphasis on communication that the students (and teachers) have adapted their definition to include anything that involves clearly stating ideas and explaining rationale.

While many focus group participants stressed the importance of learning to write in multiple styles—including more “formal” styles—and to write lengthier pieces on complex topics, other teachers questioned the “term paper mentality” and the tendency of some educators to equate length of assignment with complexity of thought.  Some AP and NWP teachers in the study debated the value of longer textual expression today, not just for students but for society as a whole. As many digital tools encourage shorter, more concise expression, these teachers questioned whether mastering more traditional writing styles will be critical for their students moving forward.  While these skills may be valued in standardized testing and in the college and university settings, there was some debate about how useful these skills are beyond those two arenas. Moreover, some teachers questioned whether lengthy writing assignments are the most effective format for teaching students specific writing skills.

When I first started at the school there was this big thing about EVERY SIXTH GRADER had to write a research paper, big time knockout research paper. I kept asking why. Why? No one seemed to have a good answer. It wasn’t in the district curriculum and it wasn’t a specified mandated something from the state curriculum, so I kept asking why. Now, there were research skills that had to be taught in both the district and state curriculum, so we spent our time working on the process of research and how to find credible sources, then we did some culminating something that wasn’t a research paper. It was such a rebel thing for me to do at the time, but I felt like I would either be giving every step of the process a little bit of time, or I could devote more quality time to the actual research. I think some [teachers] are definitely still stuck in the term paper mentality.

Regardless of the length of a student’s writing, I think it is more important to teach students to develop their thoughts completely. If development of thought can come through length or formality then so be it. More important than length or formality would be for students to have a firm understanding about how to organize their ideas in such a way where they can effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas. I certainly don’t think that a teacher should only teach any one kind or length of writing, but the most often I hear the reason we should teach students to write lengthy formal essays is because that is the way they will have to write in high school, which in turn is how they will have to write in college. While I would say there can be value in getting a student dedicated to deeply investigating a certain topic through a longer writing assignment, I would never be willing to teach kids formal writing just because that is the way they do it in high school – there would have to be another purpose.

This almost starts to get at the “how many words should this be question.” I tend to find that when I say 500 words long, kids work to that end and stop. Sometimes they seem to like this better…it’s easy and sure. Usually, I say to make a plan and work to thoughtful response to the assignment and the feedback from their peers. This usually drives more from their thought process that my giving them a word count. Is this a formal text? Not really, but yes at the same time. I think many teachers panic when students deviate from the 5 paragraph essay that they know and understand. The belief seems to be that this serves their needs on the near future high stakes test that are demanded on students. I’m not sure that this serves them past this point.

I don’t think length is a point to pound home with any student. We need to look at the content of a students’ writing the most. If that means a paper has 8-10 pages to it, then so be it, but students need to learn how to sort out what is relevant and irrelevant details and information. Students need to produce well planned, thought out papers that get to the point.

  • “Writing, Technology and Teens,” available at  https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/Reports/2008/Writing-Technology-and-Teens.aspx . ↩
  • For more on the latter, see “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World,” available at  https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/Reports/2012/Student-Research.aspx ↩

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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by Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.  

A Plethora Of Writing Examples For Middle School (& High School)

October 14, 2014 in  Pedagogy

Middle School Writing Samples

When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.

At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.

One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.

Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.

I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.

This is what writing looks like in the real world.

Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.

Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.

Expository writing examples for middle school

Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.

  • The Write Source Expository Writing Samples
  • Holt, Rinehart, Winston Expository Essay Models

Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students  real-world expository writing skills .

Descriptive writing examples for middle school

  • Descriptive Writing Samples from Novels
  • Milwaukee Public Schools Descriptive Essay Samples (p. 137)
  • Holt, Rinehart, Winston Descriptive Essay Models

Narrative writing examples for middle school

  • Writing Samples by Steve Peha (PDF)
  • The Write Source Narrative Writing Samples
  • Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Ideas and Organization)
  • Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Sentence Fluency and Conventions)
  • Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Voice and Word Choice)
  • Oregon Department of Education High School Scored Narrative and Argumentative Writing Samples
  • Holt, Rinehart, Winston Narrative Essay Models

Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school

  • The Write Source Persuasive Writing Samples
  • Holt, Rinehart, Winston Persuasive Essay Models

Reflective writing examples for middle school

  • Reflective essay examples from Lake Washington Girls Middle School

If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Related topics: Argumentative Writing , Informative Writing , Mentor Texts , Narrative Writing

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About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

This is very, very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

As a new middle school teacher (coming from elementary) this was very helpful and encouraging.

Thank you very much for letting me know. I’m glad that I was able to help you!

Thank you! I’m glad I can help.

Your welcome

This is super helpful. Thank you!

These links are a fantastic help. Thank you!

This helped me BUNCHES! Thanks so much!

thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD

These links are now dead 🙁

Thank you for notifying me! I have updated the post to include new (live!) links. Some of them are geared towards high school, but I think we can still use them as exemplars of what we want our students to aim for.

Comments are closed.

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how to write a research paper middle school

If you are struggling with teaching the research report process, you are not alone. Seriously, we’ve all been there!

I spent several years avoiding research reports in my classroom or depending on the Library-Media Specialist to teach the research process.

One year, I decided to take the plunge and teach my students how to research a topic and write a research report.

The process was clunky at first, but I learned a lot about how students approach research and how to guide them from choosing a topic to completing their final copies.

Before we discuss the HOW , let’s talk about the WHY .

how to write a research paper middle school

Why should you assign research reports to 5th and 6th grade students?

I have three main reasons for assigning research reports to my students.

First, the skill involved in finding reliable sources and citing sources is valuable.

Beginning in 5th grade, and possibly even before, students need to be able to discern the reliability of a source . They should be able to spot propaganda and distinguish between reputable sources and phony ones.

Teaching the procedure for citing sources is important because my 5th grade students need to grasp the reality of plagiarism and how to avoid it.

By providing information about the sources they used, students are consciously avoiding copying the work of authors and learning to give credit where credit is due.

Second, by taking notes and organizing their notes into an outline, students are exercising their ability to find main ideas and corresponding details.

Being able to organize ideas is crucial for young writers.

Third, when writing research reports, students are internalizing the writing process, including organizing, writing a rough draft, proofreading/editing, and writing a final draft.

When students write research reports about topics of interest, they are fine-tuning their reading and writing skills.

how to write a research paper middle school

How to Teach Research Reports in Grades 5 & 6

As a veteran upper elementary teacher, I know exactly what is going to happen when I tell my students that we are going to start research reports.

There will be a resounding groan followed by students voicing their displeasure. (It goes something like this…. “Mrs Bazzit! That’s too haaaaaaard!” or “Ugh. That’s boring!” *Sigh*  I’ve heard it all, lol.)

This is when I put on my (somewhat fictional) excited teacher hat and help them to realize that the research report process will be fun and interesting.

how to write a research paper middle school

Step 1: Choose a Topic and Cite Sources

Students definitely get excited when they find out they may choose their own research topic. Providing choice leads to higher engagement and interest.

It’s best practice to provide a list of possible research topics to students, but also allow them to choose a different topic.

Be sure to make your research topics narrow to help students focus on sources. If students choose broad topics, the sources they find will overwhelm them with information.

Too Broad: American Revolution

Just Right: The Battle of Yorktown

Too Broad: Ocean Life

Just Right: Great White Shark

Too Broad: Important Women in History

Just Right: The Life of Martha Washington

Be sure to discuss appropriate, reliable sources with students.

I suggest projecting several examples of internet sources on your technology board. Ask students to decide if the sources look reliable or unreliable.

While teaching students about citing sources, it’s a great time to discuss plagiarism and ways to avoid it.

Students should never copy the words of an author unless they are properly quoting the text.

In fact, I usually discourage students from quoting their sources in their research reports. In my experience, students will try to quote a great deal of text and will border on plagiarism.

I prefer to see students paraphrase from their sources because this skill helps them to refine their summarization skills.

Citing sources is not as hard as it sounds! I find that my students generally use books and internet sources, so those are the two types of citations that I focus on.

How to cite a book:

Author’s last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Date.

How to cite an internet article:

Author’s last name, First name (if available). “Title of Article or Page.” Full http address, Date of access.

If you continue reading to the bottom of this post, I have created one free screencast for each of the five steps of the research process!

how to write a research paper middle school

Step 2: Take Notes

During this step, students will use their sources to take notes.

I do provide instruction and examples during this step because from experience, I know that students will think every piece of information from each source is important and they will copy long passages from each source.

I teach students that taking notes is an exercise in main idea and details. They should read the source, write down the main idea, and list several details to support the main idea.

I encourage my students NOT to copy information from the source but instead to put the information in their own words. They will be less likely to plagiarize if their notes already contain their own words.

Additionally, during this step, I ask students to write a one-sentence thesis statement. I teach students that a thesis statement tells the main point of their research reports.

Their entire research report will support the thesis statement, so the thesis statement is actually a great way to help students maintain a laser focus on their research topic.

how to write a research paper middle school

Step 3: Make an Outline

Making an outline can be intimidating for students, especially if they’ve never used this organization format.

However, this valuable step will teach students to organize their notes into the order that will be used to write the rough draft of their reports.

Because making an outline is usually a new concept for my 5th graders, we do 2-3 examples together before I allow students to make their outlines for their research reports.

I recommend copying an outline template for students to have at their fingertips while creating their first outline.

Be sure to look over students’ outlines for organization, order, and accuracy before allowing them to move on to the next step (writing rough drafts).

how to write a research paper middle school

Step 4: Write a Draft

During this step, each student will write a rough draft of his/her research report.

If they completed their outlines correctly, this step will be fairly simple.

Students will write their research reports in paragraph form.

One problem that is common among my students is that instead of writing in paragraphs, they write their sentences in list format.

I find that it’s helpful to write a paragraph in front of and with students to remind them that when writing a paragraph, the next sentence begins immediately after the prior sentence.

Once students’ rough drafts are completed, it’s time to proofread/edit!

To begin, I ask my students to read their drafts aloud to listen for their own mistakes.

Next, I ask my students to have two individuals look over their draft and suggest changes.

how to write a research paper middle school

Step 5: Final Draft

It’s finally time to write final drafts!

After students have completed their rough drafts and made edits, I ask them to write final drafts.

Students’ final drafts should be as close to perfect as possible.

I prefer a typed final draft because students will have access to a spellchecker and other features that will make it easier to create their final draft.

Think of a creative way to display the finished product, because they will be SO proud of their research reports after all the hard work that went into creating them!

When grading the reports, use a rubric similar to the one shown in the image at the beginning of this section.

A detailed rubric will help students to clearly see their successes and areas of needed improvement.

Once students have completed their first research projects, I find that they have a much easier time with the other research topics assigned throughout the remainder of the school year.

If you are interested in a no-prep, step-by-step research report instructional unit, please click here to visit my Research Report Instructional Unit for 5th Grade and 6th Grade. 

how to write a research paper middle school

This instructional unit will guide students step-by-step through the research process, including locating reliable sources, taking notes, creating an outline, writing a report, and making a “works cited” page.

I’d like to share a very special free resource with you. I created five screencast videos, one for each step of the research report process. These screencasts pair perfectly with my Research Report Instructional Unit for 5th Grade and 6th Grade! 

Research Report Step 1 Screencast

Research Report Step 2 Screencast

Research Report Step 3 Screencast

Research Report Step 4 Screencast

Research Report Step 5 Screencast

Hi, If i purchase your complete package on grade 5/6 writing does it come with your wonderful recordings on how to teach them? Thanks

Hi Gail! The recordings on this blog post can be used by anyone and I will leave them up 🙂 The writing bundle doesn’t come with any recordings but I did include step-by-step instructions for teachers. I hope this helps!

Thank you for sharing your information with everyone. I know how to write (I think, haha), but I wanted to really set my students up for success with their research and writing. Your directions and guides are just what I needed to jar my memory and help my students become original writers. Be blessed.

You are very welcome, Andrea! Thank you for this comment 🙂

Hi Andrea, I am a veteran teacher who has taught nothing but primary for 25 years. However, this is my first year in 5th. I’m so excited to have found your post. Can you direct me to how I can purchase your entire bundle for writing a 5-paragraph essay. Thanks, Sue

Sure, Susan, I can help with that! Here is the link for the 5th Grade Writing Bundle: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5th-Grade-Writing-Bundle-3611643

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how to write a research paper middle school

206 Middle School Research Topics: Original Ideas List

206 Middle School Research Topics

As middle schoolers prepare to go to high school, they are introduced slowly to essay and research writing. They are sometimes given homework that involves picking suitable topics and writing on them. However, it should be noted that i t is not easy to write a research paper for a high grade. Middle schoolers in their preteen age are taught how to be creative, air out their opinions and conduct little research. It helps make them critical thinkers and prepares them for more writing tasks as they advance in their education. This article will help middle schoolers understand what is expected of them when asked to write an essay or research on a topic. It will also expose them to different areas where they can write and many research topics for middle school they can pick from.

What Should Be In A Middle School Research Paper?

Middle school research papers are often not required to be extended. They are in a unique position where they move from writing simple pieces to more detailed essays and research papers. This is the foundation where they learn to write excellent papers as they transcend to high school and eventually college. Writing an essay in middle school is not very different from writing in other stages. Some steps to get you started are

  • Understanding the Assignment :Before you begin, you should understand your teacher’s expectations when turning in your finished work.There will be rules and procedures to follow. Know the format the essay is supposed to be written in, and keep the due dates in mind. If you do not understand any aspect of the assignment, please ask for clarification, as this will help you deliver a clear and concise essay at the end.
  • Do Your Pre-Writing :Start with brainstorming on middle school research topics to determine what you would like your essay to be about. There are many options to pick from and several general subjects to break down into topics you want.

Pick up to three topics when you first brainstorm. From there, you can select the best one to write on. When you find a topic, start writing all you know about it. Create a rough paper where you jot down information from your research that will be useful in your essay. Feel free to write freely, as this will be your first draft, and you have the chance to edit it as you go.

  • Edit Your Work : Editing is essential. It helps give your paper structure. From your rough work, take out parts that are not necessary and add details you think you missed. This is where you should be detailed and try to make your work as neat and correct as possible. You are almost at the end of writing the paper.When you are sure your paper is good, it is time to proofread. Check for spelling and punctuation errors. One expert way to do this is to read the report from the bottom up, and this can help you spot any spelling errors.
  • Citations and References : Your teacher would have given you a format to write references for your work. Ensure that you are following the prescribed format.References will highlight the sources of the information gathered to make your essay.

What Can Middle Schoolers Write About?

There are many general subjects that middle schoolers can write about in their assignments. Streaming from what they have been taught in the classroom or their experiences outside class. Some issues that can create good middle school research paper topics include:

Science : This broad aspect covers earth science, geology, physical science, life science, and genetics. Science research paper topics for middle school will encourage the students to be interested in growth and learning how things work. Social Studies : This will involve learning about their history, other people’s cultures, human interaction, family, etc. This will create fun research topics for 6th graders, learning about life and how relationships work. Literature : This is the best time to learn about books and works of art. The literature will provide many topics to research for middle school students.

There are many more aspects that middle school students can research and write papers on. Discover more than 200 interesting research topics for middle school students below. However don’t worry if the assignment seems too difficult for you. You are only at the beginning of the path and our cheap research writing service will be happy to get you through with your paper.

Good Research Topics For Middle School

Students who have no experience writing papers and are looking for good research topics to work on are in luck. The topics below are suitable for all middle schoolers and can create detailed essays.

  • Should students be compelled to wear a specific uniform?
  • Textbooks or tablets: which is better to read from?
  • Obesity in American youth: Causes and solutions.
  • Should boys and girls be allowed to play on the same athletics team?
  • Should young people be allowed to play violent video games?
  • Impact of continuously playing violent video games.
  • When can we say someone is spending too much time in front of the screen?
  • Listening to music during class: Does it disturb concentration?
  • How to recognize harmful content on the internet?
  • Should all businesses be compelled to recycle?
  • What is the appropriate punishment for students who engage in cyberbullying?
  • Should school hours be adjusted to later in the morning?
  • Should our scientists be allowed to test drugs on animals?
  • Why do people’s behavior change in different settings?
  •  Is sex education important?
  • Different types of poetry and how they came about.
  • What to do if you are being bullied on the internet.
  • How to have healthy self-esteem.
  • Why does the human body need sleep?
  • Insect repellents, are they helpful?
  • Why did dinosaurs go extinct?
  • What is skateboarding?
  • The effects of tobacco on the body.
  • Artificial tanning: Risks and benefits.
  • What is spam email? Where does it come from, and how can we stop it?
  • What is a desert mirage? How does it affect people?
  • What are penguins? Where do they stay, and what do they eat?
  • When and how was America created?
  • Who are some well know and inspirational women?
  • Who are some famous inventors?
  • What famous inventions helped in shaping human existence?
  • Steps you can take to protect yourself from scammers online.
  • What is a cryptocurrency, and why is it so popular?
  • What did the invention of the mobile phone do to change the world?
  • How to handle stress from school.
  • How can issues in the family affect a child?
  • Is your school working hard enough to prevent bullying?
  • Should we use mobile phones and tablets in class?
  • Does technology make you smarter?
  • What is an unhealthy life, and what are the effects?
  • Is there any benefit of doing homework?
  • What is video game addiction, and how to stop it?
  • What is a museum, and what can be found in it?
  • What can we do to reduce climate change?
  • Is soda suitable for children?
  • Does everyone have to go to college?
  • Comparing homework and class assignments.
  • What is physical education?
  • How the internet has changed our life
  • What is peer pressure?
  • What effect has global warming had on the environment?
  • What is racism?
  • What is a healthy diet?
  • Should students be able to pick what they learn?
  • Do movies depict what happens in real life?
  • Is arts a vital part of the school curriculum?
  • What are the challenges students face?
  • How do we conserve energy in our homes?
  • What is pop culture?
  • Should parents monitor their children’s social media?

Fun Research Topics for Middle School

Writing an essay shouldn’t always be stressful or tedious. These topics will make writing papers fun. The topics below can hold the researcher’s attention for a long time as they work on completing their project.

  • How should celebrities who break the law be punished?
  • What is bulletproof clothing made of?
  • All there is to know about hip-hop.
  • What do we know about ninjas?
  • Do lie detector tests work?
  • What are the ingredients contained in a hotdog?
  • Sharks, how do they hunt, and what do they eat?
  • How do search engines work?
  • Some fascinating extinct animals, and what happened to them?
  • How to manage time effectively.
  • How does insufficient sleep affect the brain?
  • How to let go of bad habits?
  •  How do parents help us grow?
  • How to become a better writer.
  • Are dogs and cats enemies?
  • Why do parents punish children for bad behavior?
  • What is the best punishment for naughty kids?
  • Is magic real?
  • How to save money effectively?
  • What is self-development?
  • How to motivate yourself to be a better student?
  • When should you begin to earn money?
  • What’s the secret of having a successful life?
  • How not to become a game addict.

Middle School Research Project Ideas

Research shouldn’t always end as essay writing. Sometimes, you need hands-on projects to keep the middle schooler busy. The list below can serve as an ideal hub for research ideas for middle school students and work as interesting essay topics.

  • Investigating what life is like inside a beehive.
  • Steps in creating a movie.
  • How do our brains store memories and retrieve them when we need them?
  • What is a landform?
  • What are some important holidays around the world, and who celebrates them?
  • What are some significant symbols used in world holidays?
  • Creating an ecosystem: what’s the process involved?
  • Research on some exotic underwater creatures.
  • What is a meteor?
  • How to build a crossword puzzle.
  • What is advertising: create a short advertisement campaign.
  • Write the story of your life.
  • Create a calendar highlighting critical events in your life.
  • Create your family tree.

Science Research Topics for Middle School

Science is an exciting part of our lives. Because of science, the quality of our lives has increased, and there are many more inventions to come. These topics can engage the curious mind of the youngster and introduce them to science-related subjects to work on.

  • Earthquakes: Its causes and effects.
  • Computer viruses. What are they, and how do they spread?
  • Evolution of human beings.
  • Are human beings still evolving?
  • What is alchemy?
  • What is a black hole? How is it formed?
  • What is a submarine? Who uses them, and how do they work?
  • What is the cause of tornadoes?
  • What is a sinkhole, and how do they form?
  • Research on one of the planets in the solar system.
  • Understanding glaciers and icebergs.
  • What are volcanoes, and how do they form?
  • The different types of volcanoes and what causes them.
  • Who are the most famous scientists, and what are they famous for?
  • What are the components of airplanes that make them fly?
  • What are fossils, and what do they teach us?
  • How do genetics and DNA affect how we look?
  • Why does the moon change color and shape sometimes?
  • What is a Lunar eclipse?
  • What is pollution?
  • The different types of pollution and what can be done to curb them?
  • Can fruits play a part in medicine?
  • What is flooding?
  • What is an ecosystem?
  • What measures do butterflies take to defend themselves?
  • Different types of butterflies.
  • What is a skeleton, and why is it an essential part of the body?
  • How many bones are in a skeleton? Which are the most important?
  • Who is a marine biologist?
  • What is the connection between a marine biologist and the weather?
  • What are the risks marine biologists face when they dive?
  • Different types of fossils?
  • Are whales still hunted?
  • What is scientific research, and who conducts it?
  • What is the job of the nervous system?
  • Understanding the concept of hibernation?
  • What are the necessities plants need to grow?
  • Who are the people who study dinosaurs?
  • Mammals and reptiles: Similarities and differences.
  • Why don’t human beings float?
  • What is a prism, and what does it do?
  • What gives humans the ability to lift heavy things?
  • What factors can cause earthquakes?
  • How is wind measured?
  • What differentiates a planet from a star?
  • What is a galaxy? What galaxy is the earth?
  • Who is an astronaut, and what is their job?
  • What is a waterfall?
  • Do plants drink water?
  • Why do oil and water not mix?
  • What is microbiology?
  • How can we preserve our natural resources?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exploring space.
  • What are bacteria, and how useful is it to humans?
  • The similarities between temperature and heat.

Other Topics to Research for Middle School

We cannot run out of topics for middle schoolers, as several aspects are available to look at. Here are some other topics that can jump-start your essay writing process.

  • Is it advisable for students to be with their cell phones all day?
  • Should the minimum age for getting a driving license be raised?
  • The differences between homeschooling and standard schooling: which is better?
  • Does social media have a positive or negative impact on teenagers?
  • Going vegan, is it good for your health?
  • Who is a Monk, and what is his lifestyle/routine?
  • How did humans domesticate cats and dogs, and why?
  • How is America helping endangered animals?
  • How is climate change affecting us?
  • What are the effects of video games on teenagers and children?
  • Do Athletes make good models?
  • Who is to blame for the number of homeless people in America?
  • Should we have shorter school weeks?
  • Should parents monitor websites visited by their children?
  • What is cybercrime?
  • What can we don’t protect our environment?
  • Instant messaging, do they affect literacy?
  • What are the most effective ways of achieving academic excellence?
  • What is a good movie that influenced us in 2023?
  • Are tests a good way of judging a student’s intelligence?
  • How does music help us feel better?
  • How to choose the best research project ideas for middle school students.
  • Why is it important to learn multiple languages?
  • Do learning techniques affect behavior?
  • Bullying and its effects on mental health.
  • All you need to know about distant learning
  • Should prayer be part of school activities?
  • Do we need math formulas in real scenarios?
  • When should students start undergoing leadership training?
  • How to write a good essay.
  • How does night vision work?
  • What is the solar system?
  • What is Nasa, and what do they do?
  • What is a natural disaster, and what can cause one to happen?
  • What is the process of becoming a president of the United States?
  • How many presidents has the United States had?
  • What are some of the responsibilities and privileges of the president?
  • Learning about Vice Presidents and First Ladies of the United States.
  • Is social media dangerous for children?
  • Does the location where you grow up affect who you become?
  • What is a participation trophy? Is it necessary?
  • Should there be a screen time limit for children?
  • What are the responsibilities of a government to its citizens?
  • What is a curfew, and why do kids have them?
  • Is grounding an effective punishment?
  • Should physical education be necessary for everyone?
  • What are some advantages of knowing how to read?
  • How can cell phones be used productively while in class?
  • What are the qualities of a good leader?
  • What are hobbies, and what do they do for us?
  • Should less homework be given to students?
  • What is summer school? Does it help students?
  • What age is appropriate for children to be left alone at home?

If You Need Paper Writing Help

There are many ways to brainstorm ideas for your middle school homework. The research project ideas for middle school and the topics listed above will make it easier to begin. After picking a suitable topic, the next step is writing the entire paper. This will involve a lot of research and fact-finding to get accurate information for your paper. It doesn’t end at research, as you still have to write a great essay to score high marks. This could be a daunting task for many students. Don’t be afraid to get research paper help from our professional writers. After attending class, you may not have adequate time to write your essay yourself, if this is your situation, it’s okay to search for help on the internet. A quick google search for “write my paper” will result in several websites promising to write the best essay for you. However, you need to make your research before hiring an online writer for your assignment. If you need someone to write your assignment, we can be of help. We provide fast, reliable, custom paper writing services that can be completed online. Our services are available to every student, including university, middle school, high school, and college students. Our team of writers consists of professionals and teachers who are always available to ensure that you meet your deadlines. Contact us with a message “ do my research paper for me ” and enjoy the perfect result!

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF Research Paper Manual Middle Township School District

    As part of the curriculum, students in classes at the Middle School are taught to research, organize and write the paper following the APA guidelines and use this to write small papers in their content areas. As part of the freshman English curriculum at the high school, these skills are reinforced and expanded upon.

  2. Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing

    2. Pass out copies of the Research Paper Scaffold. Explain to students that the procedures involved in writing a research paper follow in order, and each section of the scaffold builds upon the previous one. Briefly describe how each section will be completed during subsequent sessions. 3.

  3. PDF Middle School Writing Stylebook

    Middle school students are also expected to write the following: • Summaries • Research • On-demand writing - This type of writing is completed in class in a limited amount of time. On-demand writing requires students to develop the ability to focus a topic, provide relevant evidence, select an appropriate organizational structure, and ...

  4. Teaching a Research Unit

    In middle school, students use the provided supplemental texts to further inform their research. In high school, students learn about finding reliable sources and can use both provided supplemental texts on CommonLit and texts from additional sources in their research.

  5. Research Paper Steps

    The research and writing process at Sunapee Middle High School is guided by the following steps. 1. KNOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A RESEARCH PAPER The sample middle school research paper and the sample high school paper can be used to learn about the basic characteristics of a research paper. Research Paper Characteristics 2.

  6. Writing Research Papers

    Lesson 1: Noticings Begin by getting your students familiar with what research writing looks like. Have them work in pairs or small groups to read pieces of research writing. They will record their "noticings" about the writing. Then, come together in a community circle to discuss and create a class anchor chart.

  7. Guidelines On Creating A Research Paper For Middle School

    After you have your topic, you should follow these rules for writing the research paper: The first is writing a thesis statement. The thesis explains what your paper is about and what problem you are trying to answer. You want the thesis statement to be the last sentence of your introduction. The introduction is the first paragraph which gives ...

  8. Writing A Research Paper: Tips For Middle School Students

    Writing A Research Paper: Tips For Middle School Students Pick a good topic with lots of facts Have 2-4 main ideas Use academic and credible research Read the teacher instructions and follow the teacher instructions Bookmark an APA and a MLA website for easy reference Learn the difference between a reference page, a works cited, and a bibliography

  9. How to Teach Middle School Students to Write Research Papers

    Prewriting Procedures Spend at least half the time allotted for the paper on prewriting. Begin with lessons on brainstorming and determining whether students' theses will work for the assignment....

  10. How to Help Middle School Students Develop Research Skills

    Form a question: Research should be targeted; develop a question you want to answer before progressing any further. Decide on resources: Not every resource is good for every question/problem. Identify the resources that will work best for you.

  11. How to Write a Research Paper

    Writing an essay can be confusing, but with the right guide to follow there is no need to panic. Learn to write a research paper step-by-step with a process that involves determining the research ...

  12. Assigning Research Projects in Middle School: Tips for Teachers on

    For the first research paper, assign a short one (1-3 pages) so that the format is the focus. The Writer's Inc or Write Source book by Great Source is a great reference book that includes example research papers. However, there are many online resources as well.

  13. How to Write a Research Essay for Middle School

    © 2024 Google LLC Conducting research is an essential skill to learn in school. This week I am going to help you learn the importance of research and 6 easy steps to write a r...

  14. A Quick Guide to Teaching Any Middle School Academic Essay

    This post serves as a starting point for a larger discussion about how the genre of academic essays is implemented throughout the various grade levels. The goal should always be consistent. For the sake of this post, I am going to use the Six Traits of Writing as a common language to talk about how writing is taught in a classroom.

  15. How to Write a Research Paper

    Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist. Free lecture slides.

  16. PDF 8th Grade Research Packet

    Your goal is to create a 2 - 3 "magazine-type- page" academic essay that presents information and illustrations (pictures, charts, graphs, etc.) that supports your group's theme by exploring a specific topic within the theme. NARROWING YOUR TOPIC: FORMULATING RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  17. Part II: How Much, and What, do Today's Middle and High School Students

    The type and frequency of written work assigned is obviously highly dependent on the subject matter being taught. Among Math teachers, for example, 81% report having students write out mathematical problems, proofs or concepts on at least a weekly basis. And among science teachers, 51% have students write up labs at least once a week and 56% ...

  18. How to Write a Research Paper Outline In 7 Steps

    Matt Ellis Updated on May 10, 2023 Students A research paper outline is a supporting document that lists all the topics to include in a paper in the intended order, usually divided by paragraphs. The typical outline of a research paper also consists of other details like subtopics and evidential sources to help the writer stay organized.

  19. PDF 6 Simple Steps for Writing a Research Paper

    Six Simple Steps for Writing a Research Paper Sometimes the most difficult part of writing a research Paper paper is just getting it started. Contained in this packet, you will find a list of six steps that will aid you in the research paper writing process.

  20. The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Research Paper

    Unlike essays, research papers usually divide the body into sections with separate headers to facilitate browsing and scanning. Use the divisions in your outline as a guide. Follow along your outline and go paragraph by paragraph. Because this is just the first draft, don't worry about getting each word perfect.

  21. A Plethora Of Writing Examples For Middle School (& High School)

    Research by " Write Like This " author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate.

  22. The Step-By-Step Guide to Teaching Research Reports

    Step 1: Choose a Topic and Cite Sources. Students definitely get excited when they find out they may choose their own research topic. Providing choice leads to higher engagement and interest. It's best practice to provide a list of possible research topics to students, but also allow them to choose a different topic.

  23. 206 Middle School Research Topics

    Do Your Pre-Writing :Start with brainstorming on middle school research topics to determine what you would like your essay to be about. There are many options to pick from and several general subjects to break down into topics you want. Pick up to three topics when you first brainstorm. From there, you can select the best one to write on.