11th Grade Common Performance Task: Research Paper Tri B: Unit: Research Prompt

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Historical Research Essay

11th Grade Common Performance Task: Research Paper

Tri B: Unit: Research

Choose a significant moment in American history that occurred before you were born. Trace the historical background or events leading up to the moment, discuss the moment itself, and trace the cultural implications of the moment since then.

  • The nature of the topic is one that has cultural significance and researchable impacts and roots.

  • Topic is narrow enough for a 5 page paper, but broad enough to find sources.

  • (Following preliminary research) A thesis statement focuses on both causes and effects.

  • Five or more reliable and credible sources have been identified on an annotated source list that includes sufficient information needed for later APA formatting. District electronic databases (Gale, ProQuest, eLibrary) are used when appropriate to topic

  • Notes show evidence of summarizing, paraphrasing and direct quotations.

  • Note taking preserves the intent of the original text.

  • Notes provide sufficient information for a 5 page paper.

  • Proposed organization of the paper appears on an outline, graphic organizer or other means.

  • All drafts must be word-processed and in APA format.

  • Thorough revision in drafting is evident in preliminary versions.





Development of Thesis

Sophisticated development of a clear and supportable thesis

Proficient development of a clear and supportable thesis

Sufficient development of a clear and supportable thesis

Insufficient development of thesis; unclear or unsupportable


Sophisticated use of relevant details to support the thesis

Proficient use of relevant details to support the thesis

Sufficient use of relevant details to support the thesis

Insufficient and/or irrelevant details to support the thesis

In-Text Citations

Sophisticated use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources

Proficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources

Sufficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources

Insufficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources


(parallel structure, subordinating conjunctions and clauses, and compound-complex sentence structures)

Sophisticated use

of syntax for effect

Proficient use

of syntax for effect

Sufficient use

of syntax for effect

Insufficient use

of syntax for effect


Sophisticated use of editing and standard grammatical conventions

Proficient use of editing and standard grammatical conventions

Sufficient use of editing and standard grammatical conventions

Editing and grammatical conventions detract from overall meaning


  • On a note card: Identify topic and five researchable questions /5(Due 3/26/15)

  • Research Process #1: /10 (Due 4/9/15)

    • Find and print (or record on Evernote) 4-5 sources.

    • Evidence of note taking (highlighting, summarizing, paraphrasing, etc.)

    • Annotated bibliography

  • Research Process #2: /10 (Due 4/14/15)

    • Annotated bibliography

    • Define Cultural Significance of Topic (Why does this moment still matter? What are the long-range effects of the moment?)

    • Graphic Organizer of paper structure

  • Research Process #3: /10 (Due 4/16/15)

    • Formal Outline of Essay, including thesis statement (topic + cultural significance)

    • Work on Direct quotations or paraphrased information (with source designated) inserted into outline.

  • Research Process #4: /10 (Due 4/21/15)

    • Direct quotations or paraphrased information (with source designated) inserted into outline.

    • References Page (also include as final page of essay)


  • First draft of paper (peer edited) (Submitted to turnitin.com by class time 4/28/15)

  • Second draft of paper (teacher edited) (Submit to turnitin.com by 4/30/15)

  • Final draft of paper (Submitted to turnitin.com by 5/7/15)

Research Process 2: (due Thursday, 4/9/15)

Annotated Bibliography

For your essay, you must find at least five sources relating to your topic. At least one of these must be a print source (book, magazine, newspaper, map, etc.).

Next you must create an annotated bibliography of your sources.

bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Your annotations may do one or more of the following.

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.

  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?

    • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Why should I write an annotated bibliography?

In an essay where you must use multiple sources of information, the annotated bibliography is helpful in keeping track of your sources and the information they contain.

To learn about your topic: Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. Just collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you're forced to read each source more carefully. You begin to read more critically instead of just collecting information. At the professional level, annotated bibliographies allow you to see what has been done in the literature and where your own research or scholarship can fit. To help you formulate a thesis: Every good research paper is an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So a very important part of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you'll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you'll then be able to develop your own point of view.


The bibliographic information: The bibliographic information of the source (the title, author, publisher, date, etc.) will be written in APA format.

The annotations: The annotations for each source are written in paragraph form. The lengths of the annotations can vary significantly from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages. The length will depend on the purpose. If you're just writing summaries of your sources, the annotations may not be very long (2-3 sentences).

Sample Annotated Bibliography (APA)

Center the title “Annotated Bibliography”. It should not be bold or italicized, and there should be no additional spaces following.

Annotated Bibliography

AICPA sets ethical standards for outsourcing. (2005). Journal of Accountancy, 199(1), 8.

The annotation begins on the line following the citation. The whole entry is double spaced.
Retrieved from http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/

This article discusses the new standards for outsourcing developed by the AICPA ethics committee. The standards are summarized, and a brief discussion is included of the implications going forward for business and international trade. The authors indicate that changes to the business community will be relatively minor. This is a helpful source for getting an overview of the current ethics standards in outsourcing.

American Management Association. (1996). The AMA style guide for business writing.

The first line of each entry begins at the left margin; every other line in the entry is indented.
New York, NY: Author.

The American Management Association has created its own guide for business writing. Designed as a supplemental text to more thorough style guides such as APA, this guide covers topics relating specifically to business, such as citing financials, formatting of company reports, and professional approaches to information integrity in the workplace. This is an indispensible work for anyone doing professional business writing.

Barthelemy, J., & Geyer, D. (2005). An empirical investigation of IT outsourcing versus

outsourcing in France and Germany. Information & Management, 42, 533-542.


The authors present an investigation of IT outsourcing based on the combined results of a survey administered to IT firms as well as statistical measures from domestic and French or German firms. Their data covers a wide range of IT business unit types. However, the lack of longitudinal data weakens their conclusion that the slower pace of French and German IT outsourcing has had a positive effect on business in those countries long-term.

Research Process #2
Assignment for Tuesday, April 14th

  1. On a piece of your own paper, answer these questions: What effect does your topic have on today’s culture? Why is it significant or important to the lives of Americans today?

In other words, how has the invention of the telephone or the popularity of Oprah affected the world we live in? (Substitute your own topic here)
You will use this statement to write your thesis statement on Monday. Your thesis statement for this paper is essentially your topic + your opinion or position about why this is important. Make sure you put this paper in your writing folder.

  1. If you have already found 4-5 useful sources, skip to step 3. If not, continue to research sources online. You need to have at least 5 sources that you will use for this paper. In other words, all of your information cannot come from the same source—you must include, in the text of your paper, information from each one of your sources.

Evidence of note taking is required here. Either highlight the important information in the text of your article or include another piece of paper where you take notes on the important info.

  1. If you have all of your sources, begin to organize the research into the sections you’ll use in your papers. You could do this in a graphic organizer like the one below. If another graphic organizer format works better for you, use that instead.

Multiple causes Moment Multiple Effects

Intro: ½ page (include attention getter, thesis, and preview of main points)

Multiple Causes: 1 ½ pages (about ½ page per cause, show how all lead to the central moment)

Moment: 1 page (center point of the paper, explaining the central idea and its importance)

Multiple Effects: 1 ½ pages (about ½ page per effect, show how all come out of the central moment)

Conclusion: ½ page (include a restatement of thesis, recap of main points, and a final statement about importance of moment)
See also outline example for paper format.

Research Process 3 & 4: Historical Research Essay Outline (Hank Aaron example)

I. Introduction

A. Attention-getter.

B. Thesis: (moment + cultural significance) Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run changed the ways people looked at African-Americans in professional baseball.

C. Preview (three) main points:

1. Causes: Negro Leagues/Jackie Robinson breaking into MLB.

2. Effects: Future home-run records and subsequent steroid investigations

a. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa

b. MLB drug controversy/changing policies

II. Causes of moment

  1. First cause: Formation of the Negro Leagues

1. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research): In 1880s several professional Negro teams were formed. Professional baseball mirrored the segregation in larger society (Negro League Baseball Players Association, 2014).

2. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research): Several players tried to integrate into the MLB prior to Jackie Robinson with little success (Negro League Baseball Players Association, 2014).

3. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):The first successful organized Negro League was established on February 13, 1920, at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri” (Society for American Baseball Research, n.d.).

B. Second cause: Jackie Robinson’s introduction to the major leagues (“About Jackie

Robinson”, 2013).

1. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

2. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

C. Third cause:

1. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

2. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

III. The Moment

A. Background information necessary to understanding the moment (Source)

B. Explanation of its importance (Source)

1. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

2. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

IV. Effects of Moment

  1. First Effect that came from moment

  1. Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

Example, statistic, fact, quotation, etc (source from research):

  1. Second Effect that came from moment

  1. Example, statistic, fact, etc. (Source from research)

  2. Example, statistic, fact, etc. (Source from research)

  1. Third Effect

  1. Example, statistic, fact, etc. (Source from research)

  2. Example, statistic, fact, etc. (Source from research)

V. Conclusion

A. Restatement of thesis (in different words)

B. Final statement on moment's enduring impact on culture or its importance as a turning point.

How to embed quotations into your essay

Non-embedded quotation (WHAT NOT TO DO):

"This image reinforces the idea that girls should mask their real selves and hide their true identity" (Sheridan, 2002).

Embedded quotations with in-text citations:

Print Source with Author

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

APA style requires using past tense in signal phrases referring to earlier research.

Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?

Print Source with Unknown Author

If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized or underlined; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.

A similar study was done of students learning to format research papers ("Using APA," 2001).

Note: In the rare case the "Anonymous" is used for the author, treat it as the author's name (Anonymous, 2001). In the reference list, use the name Anonymous as the author.

Electronic Source

If possible, cite an electronic document the same as any other document by using the author-date style.

Kenneth (2000) explained...

Unknown Author and Unknown Date

If no author or date is given, use the title in your signal phrase or the first word or two of the title in the parentheses and use the abbreviation "n.d." (for "no date").

Another study of students and research decisions discovered that students succeeded with tutoring ("Tutoring and APA," n.d.).

SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 characters or less) #



Author Affiliation (School or University)

SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 characters or less) #


Your abstract should be one paragraph and should not exceed 120 words. It is a summary of the most important elements of your paper. All numbers in the abstract, except those beginning a sentence, should be typed as digits rather than words. To count the number of words in this paragraph, select the paragraph, and on the Tools menu click Word Count.

SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 characters or less) #

Title of Paper Exactly as It Appears on Cover Page

Begin your paper with the introduction. The active voice, rather than passive voice, should be used in your writing.

This template is formatted according to APA Style guidelines, with one inch top, bottom, left, and right margins; Times New Roman font in 12 point; double-spaced; aligned flush left; and paragraphs indented 5-7 spaces. The page number appears one inch from the right edge on the first line of each page, excluding the Figures page.


Use headings and subheadings to organize the sections of your paper. The first heading level is formatted with initial caps and is centered on the page. Do not start a new page for each heading.


Subheadings are formatted with italics and are aligned flush left.


When using APA format, follow the author-date-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text along with the page number, for example, (Jones, 1998, p. 199), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 characters or less) #


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical or Website, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from


Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A List Apart: For People Who Make

Websites, 149. Retrieved from http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving

Brown, Charles & Johnson (2003). The impressive psychology paper. Chicago: Lucerne


Parker-Pope, T. (2008, May 6). Psychiatry handbook linked to drug industry. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

Smith, M. (2001). Writing a successful paper. The Trey Research Monthly, 53, 149-150.
Entries are organized alphabetically by surnames of first authors and are formatted with a hanging indent. Most reference entries have three components:

  1. Authors: Authors are listed in the same order as specified in the source, using surnames and initials. Commas separate all authors. When there are seven or more authors, list the first six and then use “et al.” for remaining authors. If no author is identified, the title of the document begins the reference.

  2. Year of Publication: In parenthesis following authors, with a period following the closing parenthesis. If no publication date is identified, use “n.d.” in parenthesis following the authors.

  3. Source Reference: Includes title, journal, volume, pages (for journal article) or title, city of publication, publisher (for book).

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