Research Project

You will be conducting a multi-phase research project, which will culminate in a research paper and then a persuasive business letter.

Step One: Choose one of the following topics
· Effects of teenage drinking
· Effects of social media
· Environmental impacts and costs ($) of recycling
· Effects and costs ($) of healthy vs. unhealthy
· Abortion
· Effects of marijuana on teenagers and adults
· Euthanasia/assisted suicide
· The Alberta high school curriculum

Step Two: Develop research questions
· For example, if your topic was the effects of teenage drinking, you are going to want to ask (and eventually answer) a variety of different questions such as:
o When do most teens starts drinking?
o Why do teens drink?
o What are the effects of drinking on the brain?
o What are the effects of drinking on the rest of the body?
o How do the effects of drinking change from children to teenagers to adults?
o What are some of the consequences of teenage drinking?
o What are the current laws pertaining to drinking?

*You MUST develop AT LEAST FIVE research questions. Please see Ms. Machon for help if you are having a hard time brainstorming them.

Step Three: Learn HOW to research
1) Visit this site: (password is RVS) and do the following:
a) Click on the “search” tab – read everything on this page and TAKE NOTES. When you are
finished, write ONE paragraph that gives an overview of how to conduct appropriate research IN

b)  Click on the “evaluate” tab – read everything on this page and take notes

c) Click on the “cite” tab – read over this page and check out the “Bibme” website.

2) Watch this video and take notes:

        You will need to pause the video occasionally to take your notes. Pay particular attention to the
difference between direct quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Also pay attention to the part
about analysis. She is exactly right. It is the most important part!Step Four: Research!
· Take on your research questions one at a time. Take notes that answer each of your research questions
as you go. Sometimes you might write down a direct quote; sometimes you might take notes that
paraphrase or summarize. This is the information you will need for your assignments later, so the more
detailed your notes, the better.
· Don’t be afraid to let the research “take you where it will”. If you get off track from your question, follow
where your research is leading you until you are satisfied, and then redirect your focus back onto the
question you were working on.
· Make sure that you are keeping track of which notes come from which sources, because you WILL need
to cite them.

·You will need a VARIETY of sources for EACH research question. As you look into each of your research questions, consult at least THREE sources to do so. As some of your research questions overlap, you may end up using a source to answer more than one research question.

 ·As I will be marking your research skills (in part) by reading your notes, you need to ensure that they are ORGANIZED. Take down notes under the heading of each research question. Always note the source a note comes from.
  ·Do NOT copy and paste notes from the internet. Yes, some of your notes will consist of direct quotes, but these should be SHORT and there should be a REASON you are choosing to note down a direct quote (it should be a very important piece of information). But much of your notes will be summary and
paraphrase of what you read in your sources.Step Five: Research Paper
· Write an organized, coherent paper of about 800 words, that explores your topic. What conclusions have you come to? What analysis have you made of some of your sources? What answers to your initial questions have you found?
· The hardest part about this is the organization piece. You already have all of the information you need; your task is now to organize it and communicate it effectively.
· A POOR way to organize your paper is to summarize each of your sources one by one.
· A GOOD way to organize your paper is to lead your reader on a journey through your topic in a way that makes sense. You might want to look at your research questions, organize them into a logical order, and then focus a paragraph on each one.

· The majority of your research paper should be written from an OBJECTIVE point of view. That means it should focus on the facts, and not include your own opinions. BUT at the END of your paper, your concluding paragraph should be written from your own point of view, and include what conclusions you have drawn, personally.
· Your research paper MUST include references to your sources. There should be examples of direct quotes from your sources, paraphrases of your sources, and summaries of your sources. Look back to your notes on how to do this, from the video you watched, if you forget. Anytime you reference a source, you must use an IN TEXT CITATION. Check out this link for how to do that:
· Your research paper MUST also include a bibliography at the end. It should be in MLA format, and you may use Bibme to help you create your bibliography.ASSESSMENT for steps one through five:

Research Skills /5 (X3)
To what extent did you:
· Formulate specific and thoughtful research questions?
· Take detailed notes on how to research effectively?
· Find a variety of different sources?

· Take detailed notes on your sources?
· Organize your research notes effectively?
· Integrate your sources into your assignments?
· Correctly cite your sources in your assignments?
· Correctly create a bibliography?
· Summarize, directly quote, and paraphrase your sources?Writing Skills /5 (X2)
To what extent did you:
· Demonstrate matters of correctness in your writing (includes correct spelling, grammar and punctuation)?
· Demonstrate the use of a variety of sentence structures?
· Use appropriate tone and vocabulary?

Organization /5
To what extent did you:
· Organize your ideas in an efficient and logical manner (in your research paper)?
· Integrate a variety of sources into different parts of your research paper?
· Connect your ideas to one another?

Step Six: Business Letter
· Depending on what your topic is, you will be writing a business letter to each propose something, or ban something, or change something. Here is a list of the topics and the options for what you will write your business letter on:
o Effects of teenage drinking – propose to the government to either raise or lower the legal drinking age
o Effects of social media – propose to your school principal that we ban the use of social media in school,
OR propose to the provincial government that we enforce laws on use of social media for teenagers, OR
write a letter to your school proposing that no restrictions for social media be enforced in school for
o Environmental impacts and costs ($) of recycling – propose a recycling plan to your school or to your
o Effects and costs ($) of healthy vs. unhealthy eating – propose the implementation of a healthier food
system in the school cafeteria
o Abortion – propose to the provincial government that we either ban OR allow abortion clinics to
operate in Alberta
o Effects of marijuana on teenagers and adults – propose to government to either legalize or restrict
marijuana use in either teenagers or adults or both
o Euthanasia/assisted suicide – propose to the provincial government that Alberta either ban or allow
euthanasia/assisted suicide
o The Alberta High School curriculum (propose to the Alberta government a change to the curriculum –
must be specific)

· Please see the documents below for an overview on how to write a business letter.
*Assessment for business letter is according to PAT rubric (found below).

Business Letter Format
ELA 9 Functional RUBRIC
ela9 functional 2012 ASSIGNMENT
ela9 functional 2012 EXCELLENT exemplar
ela9 functional 2012 PROFICIENT exemplar
ela9 functional 2012 SATISFACTORY exemplar (1)