Juniors: Narrowing the Research Topic and Organizing Thinking

Before Thanksgiving Break, students committed to one of three short stories for their research paper, and they skimmed the available research, taking quick notes about each source. This week, students will make major progress on their papers as they narrow their topic, take research notes, and organize their thinking in an outline.

On Monday, students will spend time solidifying their plans. They will determine what their theme or critique of the story is and how they intend to support their analysis. Students will choose a note-taking method that works for them (digitally via Google Docs, printed note sheets, or notecards), then they will begin note-taking on Tuesday. Students need a minimum of three sources, and the e-notes brainstorming articles (“Themes”, “Historical Context”, and “Style”) can only count as one of those three sources. As students take notes, they will ensure that they are tracking important information such as whether or not the note is in their own words or in the author’s words. They will also write their own ideas to ensure that their notes connect to their larger argument. Near the end of the week, students will be introduced to outlining expectations. Over the weekend, they should wrap up their note-taking and outlining work.

Parents, how can you help?

  • Monitor your child’s progress on Power School. I will create a series of small assignments (2 points) that will help you gauge completion of each step. Students who earn 2 points have completed the work, 1 point have partially completed the work, and 0 points have little to no work completed. I will update these scores daily so that you are aware of your child’s progress.
  • Encourage your child to seek extra help if they need it. I’m regularly available before and after school, during homeroom, and a few periods throughout the day.