Scholastic’s “Research Papers: A Writing Workshop” offers students (grades 3–5) the opportunity to learn more about a topic that interests them by writing a research paper on it — and makes the task of writing the report less intimidating by dividing the process into easy steps. While the focus of the project is the creation of a research paper, the step-by-step instruction for completing the report focuses entirely on the writing process.
The steps include:
- Mini-Lesson (1 day): Mini-lesson 1 helps students learn how to choose the best resources for their research. Min-lesson 2 teaches students how to name their sources at the end of their paper.
- Prewriting (3–4 days): Students choose a topic to research, gather resources, take notes, and create an outline.
- Drafting (2–3 days): Students review their notes and use their outline to create a rough draft of their report — organizing their work and getting their thoughts down on paper. Encourage them to focus on the content and allow their ideas to flow freely.
- Revising (2–3 days): Students focus on the content of their report. (Remind them that revising doesn't involve making changes for spelling, grammar, or punctuation.)
- Editing (1–2 days): Now, students focus on spelling, grammar, punctuation (including use of quotation marks), capitalization, and subject/verb agreement.
- Reviewing (1–2 days): Students get a final look before taking their work public. They discuss how to conduct a review process, including: peer review, self assessment, and teacher conferencing.
- Publishing (1–2 days): Students celebrate their accomplishments and post their work on Scholastic.com. Other ideas for publishing their research papers are shared.