Writing a Research Paper: Rough Draft

Writing a Research Paper Rough Draft headerThis is my method for writing a Rough Draft of a Research paper

This method I feel produces GOOD Research papers vs. the usual papers where all they do is type all their research cards and put random comments in-between. I feel this is specific enough about: THIS IS WHAT I EXPECT when it comes to writing and cuts things down into manageable chunks that my students can do–even low level ones. Any idiot kid can write a good paper using this method and I think that’s a huge sigh of relief for me and for them as well: this is HOW to do it: Ready? Go.

It’s simple but it’s methodical and in the end, you have an actual ESSAY instead of just a 6th Grade State Report or whatever Report they did in Elementary.

This ATTEMPTS to have them analyze and assess their information (whether it’s successful is often negligible). In the end, these essays sound a lot more intelligent and refined than any other paper from other teachers that I’ve read.

Also, my favorite part, it makes them actually PRODUCE writing in a way that fosters DRAFTING–when they are finished writing all these 22 Paragraphs (20 cards and Intro and Conclusion) they will have more like 8-10 pages of Text and then they cut that down to 5 pages.

Again, this produces a lot better writing because they HAVE to cut it down and they have to edit and assess the quality of their info and their writing and ultimately find out that certain paragraphs and certain pieces of information are repetitive, unneeded, random and strange. I love that this prompts that behavior and love that they actually EDIT during this stage instead of just getting 3 copies of the same awful paper 🙂

This is something that I created MYSELF, although you could say it mirrors a type of Jane-Shaffer style with CDs and CMs and such but eh, it does some yes, but mostly this comes from reading Research papers one time and thinking:
THIS is good…
THIS is horrible…
And came up with this system based on what I observed were astute papers and what the others lacked.

The Packet that I give out is HERE: Writing the paper packet2 I copy it double sided and that is the packet they get as we start this process

Download the PowerPoint HERE


They should have numbered their cards in the last step of Organizing Their Research Cards, but they DID NOT do that step, it really doesn’t matter. They are writing 22 paragraphs in this process, I tell them choose a number from 1-22  and write it here!


Answers: 1. (Dean 56) 2. (Crawford 43) 3. (“Why” 49)
This is the slide that I would put up during their work days because it was a good summary of everything–citations, highlighting and general grading
This was one activity we did on one of their writing days to motivate them to write a little more. It worked wonders and I got work finally from several kids who had done nothing up to the point. Nothing like a threat and a bribe!

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