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Global History I Research Paper Unit

Writing Goals:
Department: The Social Studies department at Daniel Hand High School is
responsible for preparing students for the former CAPT interdisciplinary section. In
other words, the history department emphasizes through all classes and units the
following:
Reading comprehension and evaluation, comparing and contrasting, using
primary and secondary historical and contemporary sources to form and support an
argument, using technology effectively, and effectively communicating through
written and verbal means.
Building core values and writing goals include:
Academic Competencies:
1. Demonstrate proficiency and fluency in communication to meet the demands
of the global community: 1A. Writing - Write effectively for a variety of purposes.
1B. Presenting - Speak effectively and clearly; listen actively.1C. Comprehending Understand written, auditory, and/or visual materials.
2.

Use technology effectively and responsibly.

3. Apply effective and efficient strategies to gather information and materials,
think critically, and create innovative solutions to problems.
4.

Demonstrate creative expression and skill through a performance or a product.

http://www.danielhand.org/page.cfm?p=766
School-wide academic rubrics including reading and writing:
http://www.danielhand.org/uploaded/dhhs/docs/Schoolwide_rubric_Academic_Expectations.pdf
The main focus of this mini project addresses the following 3 CCSS ELALiteracy Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question
(including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry
when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using
advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the

Global History I Research Paper Unit

research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of
ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and
research.

Monday: Picking a solid and debatable topic & narrowing to a thesis

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar
topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.a
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and
create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims,
reasons, and evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.b
Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the
strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level
and concerns.

LMC computer lab: lesson and workshop co-taught and co-facilitated with school
library media specialist
Mini Lessons: 2 will be taught today, each approximately 10-15 minutes
long
How to create a debatable topic and a solid thesis statement
Teacher will introduce the research paper week-long unit by explaining to students
the significance and value of being able to 1) take a stance on an issue 2)
communicate your stance effectively to others 3) find valid support for your
argument in academic life, later careers and throughout their lives in general.
“A research paper does exactly those three objectives: Presents a stance on an
issue, supports such a stance with valid, academic research, and communicates this
argument effectively in writing. The final product from this week’s research paper
unit will be solely a paper, but later in the trimester you will produce a second
research paper along with a persuasive presentation to the class.”

Global History I Research Paper Unit
Teacher will distribute to students the attached week-long schedule and explain the
unit timeline, how workshops will be run, assignments and expectations, as well as
the co-teaching approach that will be used.
Teacher and LMC specialist will model for students using the Smart Board the
following concepts:
1) What is the difference between a report and a persuasive research
paper? Begin with a question.
“Your topic must be debatable. You are not explaining to me, for example,
everything that there is to know about the Roman Empire. One, that is far
too much information for a two-page mini research paper. Two, there is
nothing debatable about listing facts and information. At the high school
level, we ask you to learn about the Roman Empire and THEN analyze such
facts to make an argument. For example, the following question IS debatable
about the Roman Empire:
Did the Roman Empire get too big?
You could answer yes to this question backed by academic support, as
well as answer no to this question with researched support. You do not want
your question to have an obvious answer. The following is debatable in a
way, but also fairly obvious:
Did Julius Caesar get too greedy with this power?
Most of all, avoid factual questions such as:
What led to the downfall of the Roman Empire?
Answering this question does not require taking a stance or analyzing
facts; it just requires a factual answer and therefore is not a debatable topic.
2) How do you turn a debatable topic (question) into a thesis
statement?
Take your debatable question and do some preliminary research (the LMC
specialist will show students in the next mini lesson how to accomplish this
task).
Make a “T” chart in bullet form with support for both a “no” answer to your
and question and a “yes” answer.
If you have far more answers on one side than the other, re-evaluate if
you debatable question is too obvious.
From your completed chart, determine which stance you are going to
take. This is the basis for your thesis statement.
Model the following:
“Going back to the Rome example, the following could be a valid thesis
statement taken from reasons in your “T” chart. For late research papers you
will be asked to use three reasons in your thesis, but for this 2-page minipaper you are required to have two supporting reasons. These reasons
should be broad enough so that you can write a paragraph on each. These
will be your body paragraphs.”

Global History I Research Paper Unit
The Roman Empire got too big evident (stance taken) in the resulting decline
in loyalty of a proportionately growing military (reason1), and discontent
spurred by necessary tax increases (reason 2).
*Also see attached paper outline and example used there
What resources will most useful for our research and how do I used these
online databases?
The LMC specialist will show students how to navigate the online database portals
(this will be review), as well as distribute headphones for students to watch two
online tutorials on the most useful databases for this assignment. Since the process
if being emphasized over the content for this unit, students may choose any
debatable topic that they find worthwhile (the next research assignment will be tied
to curriculum content) so the sites ABC- CLIO and Opposing Viewpoints are being
emphasized.
You may also choose to take the flipped classroom approach and assign
the below tutorials as homework before this first day of instruction.
Online tutorial by LMC specialist on how to effectively use Opposing Viewpoints and
ABC Clio online databases:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDQqrki6vcw
Following these lessons, students will be able to work on the following with teacher
and peer support as needed:
Developing a debatable topic, conducting preliminary research and transforming
their topic into a thesis statement.
Homework: Topic, debatable question, two column notes, preliminary
thesis (students begin during workshop time)

Tuesday: How to use online databases effectively for research

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources,
attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared
writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and
to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Global History I Research Paper Unit
Mini Lesson: Mr. P (our LMC coordinator) on how to use Opposing
Viewpoints and ABC Clio effectively
How do I evaluate my sources?
Today, the LMC specialist will expand on the YouTube tutorials to be sure that
students feel comfortable navigating this site. He or she will ask for some student
topics and the class will work together to find valid articles on the two mentioned
site.
The following site will be used on the Smart Board by the LMC specialist. Students
will also be directed to this site to follow along, and will be encouraged to reference
this at home for support: http://blogshots.s3.amazonaws.com/Website
%20Evaluation%20Guide.pdf
LMC specialist will also so a mini-lesson on how to effectively search the web for
valid, academic sources and show students how to evaluate authors and publishers
if one is not sure of the validity of a certain site.
How to use Google Scholar:
http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.co
m/en/us/educators/downloads/Scholar_17x22.pdf
How Google works video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs&feature=youtu.be
Students will have the remainder of the period as a teacher and peer supported
workshop to find, evaluate and actively begin actively reading two sources.
Homework: Find and print two articles from two different databases
Actively read and take notes on both articles
Students show that they have actively read sources through not just
highlighted sections and / or notes, but by writing a minimum of five questions and /
or connects for each source showing that they are actively engaged and analyzing
information while reading.
Keep track of what info comes from each source (you will need this
tomorrow when we cover citations)

Wednesday: Outlining and Citations

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using

Global History I Research Paper Unit

advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the
research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of
ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Mini Lesson: Research Ready lesson plagiarism
What is plagiarism and how do I avoid it?
The LMC specialist will provide each student with log-in information for
researchready.com, an interactive site that provides lessons on plagiarism and
correct citation to avoid plagiarism. The LMC specialist will introduce the ideas of
plagiarism, have students complete the interactive online actively, and check for
understanding through a class discussion / questioning.
http://www.researchready.com/
Schools are provided with log-in information after subscribing to services
How do I correctly cite by sources in my paper and on a works cited page?
“Until you have your PhD, your opinion has no academic validity unless it is
supported with researched and cited support.”
“Think of the last argument you tried to pitch to your parents: You had to give
reasons, for example, why you should be able to stay out until 10:30pm instead of
10pm. It’s the same concept here. You need reasons why people should agree with
your stance. The difference is, because this is an academic argument those reasons
need to be researched and cited.”
LMC specialist models and instructs students on how to use the Online Writing Lab
and Easy Bib as online resources with creating a works cited page and proper
parenthetical citations.
Online Writing Lab: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/
Easy Bib: http://www.easybib.com/
Easy Bib online video tutorials: http://content.easybib.com/productresources/#.U_DIztF0yZM
Teacher will also model parenthetical citations by having the class correctly add inpaper citations to an example paragraph shown on the Smart Board.
Teacher will show a model outline on the Smart Board (students will also have
access to this through the class website which will also have ALL of the support links
and documents from this unit) and explain this to students emphasizing the
following points:

Global History I Research Paper Unit
1) Each thesis point is one body paragraph
2) Each body paragraph should have a minimum of 3 pieces of specific,
researched information
3) Each body paragraph should also have your analysis of the cited researched,
which ties the facts to your overall argument.
4) Your outline should be detailed enough (including citation information) that
tomorrow you can work from the same word document to add your
introduction, conclusion and transitions to have a completed paper. Outlines
should be in bullet form, but this does not mean vague.
Homework:
Complete annotated works cited page
Example: http://library.csun.edu/docs/apannotbib.pdf
Complete Outline with citation information included

Thursday: Writing style and format

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid
reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.a
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and
create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims,
reasons, and evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.b
Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the
strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level
and concerns.

Mini Lesson: How to structure a thesis paper
Teacher will conduct this mini lesson from the attached research paper format
document emphasizing the following:
The ice-cream cone (broad to specific) nature of an introduction. “Write this
paragraph last! Not first! Figuring out what the bigger picture of your argument is, is
a difficult and sophisticated skill. You may need to write your argument in its
entirety to allow you to begin analyzing what that bigger significance is. Try to think
of it this way, if I did not care one bit about the ancient Roman Empire (many people

Global History I Research Paper Unit
do not), why would bother to read this paper? Well, greed and power are strong
forces in our world today as well so if you can introduce your paper with these
universal and timeless concepts, you make your argument more relevant and
attractive. Think, why should people care about this?”
Each paragraph is a mini-paper with an introduction and a conclusion.
If every sentence is cited, where is your analysis? You need researched support, but
what these facts mean is more important than the facts themselves. Do not just list
information.
Do not over-emphasis this, but the most sophisticated papers will acknowledge the
alternative argument but then prove that the paper’s overall stance is stronger.
The pyramid nature of a conclusion: Remind us of your overall argument and two
thesis points, but leave us thinking about the bigger picture. You want your readers
to walk away thinking about how your argument impacts them and their lives – aka:
Leave me evaluating whether I let greed creep into my own life or whether I remain
loyal to my intentions.
*See attached paper format for above
Homework: 2 page research paper is due:
GRADE

for a TEST

Quiz tomorrow on the research process – no notes

Friday: In class quiz on the research process and possible workshop time
Quiz will be taken independently on the above process. If time remains after
the quiz is completed, students may have workshop time on their own mobile
learning devices.

To summarize the above plan:
I want to focus more on the process of learning how to write a paper
rather than the content of the paper. As you can see, I incorporate our LMC
coordinator and technology in this process as well so that the students may
learn an effective way in which to research topics. We then will complete a
mini writing lab each day in which we discuss the “craft” of writing an
effective argument paper. This paper is just the first in a series of three mini

Global History I Research Paper Unit

papers throughout the trimester which will work on effective communication
through writing. Each of these writing labs will be conducted in a manner in
which students will synthesize others’ information to form their own opinions
based upon the content of the bigger unit being taught in class i.e. the Fall of
Rome. The feedback will be constant, as the students will be required to do
their work on Google Docs so that I, and their peers, can monitor, and edit as
they go.
Again, this week long unit is more about the process of teaching “craft”
than anything else. The motivation and reason behind the creation of this
mini writing unit is: the understanding that students can’t improve unless
you show them every step necessary to improve (scaffolding) and then you
have to constantly get them to practice those skills so that they may craft
their own ideas and works. Many of our reading attest to this fact, that
writing is something that needs to be practiced constantly and that the
feedback provided to the students is also constant and productive. This
feedback does not necessarily always need to come from the teacher and
with technologies such as GoogleDocs, HackPad, etc... The feedback can
come from peers at any time, not just in the classroom. However, we, as
teachers, cannot assume anything from our students especially when it
comes to writing, this crafting process is a delicate art which needs to be
consistently cultivated from the time children first begin to write until they
leave their schooling. This process has to be multi-modal in its presentation
and application in order to best serve the unique needs of each student so
that they may glean the most success possible from what can be perceived
as a very arduous task.
I have also attached:
1. A rubric for grading this assignment
2. 5 Paragraph Essay Format – Mini Paper
Criteria

Exceeds
Expectations

Meets
Expectations

Approaches
Expectations

M
Expecta

Thesis

Dynamic,
novel and
compelling.
Causes the
reader to say, “I
never thought of
that before.”

Solid, clear,
and stable.
Causes the reader
say, “This works.”

Vague and a
stretch. Causes the
reader say, “I’m not
sure where this is
going.”

Il
missing
the read
say, “I d
know w
is going

(10)

(8/7/6)

(5/4/3)

(2

Global History I Research Paper Unit
(10/9)

Organization/Ar
gument
(20)

Paper
develops the
thesis
throughout;
clearly
organized;
considers and
refutes
alternative
arguments.

Paper
develops the
thesis throughout,
organization
somewhat lacking,
considers
alternative
arguments.

Thesis is not
consistently
developed; lacks
clear organization,
does not consider
alternative
arguments.
(8/7/6/5)

(12/11/10/9)

T
not dev
and the
evidenc
organiz
does no
conside
alternat
argume

(4

(15/14/13)
Significance/Ana
lysis
(20)

Demonstra
tes full,
thoughtful,
insightful
understanding of
the deeper
significance of
subject; analyzes
facts and draws
conclusions.

Demonstrat
es an
understanding of
the significance of
subject; shows
some analysis of
facts and draws
some conclusions.
(17/16/15/1

Lacks an
understanding of
significant elements
of subject; only 1-2
examples of
analysis of facts
and drawing
conclusions.
(13/12/11)

4)

L
evidenc
underst
subject
evidenc
analysis
or draw
conclus

(1
below)

(20/19/18)
Evidence and
Examples
(15)

More than
two detailed,
specific, accurate
examples to
support each
point.

At least
two, specific,
accurate examples
to support each
point.

One detailed,
specific, accurate
example to support
each point.
(8/7/6/5)

(12/11/10/9)

N
detailed
specific
exampl
support

(4

(15/14/13)
Format
(5)

Cover
page, 12pt. font,
1” margins,
meets page
requirements.
(5)

Missing one
of the following
elements: cover
page, 12 pt. font,
1” margins, meets
page
requirements.

Missing two
of the following
elements: cover
page, 12 pt. font,
1” margins, meets
page requirements.
(3/2)

D

adhere
require
(1/0)

Global History I Research Paper Unit
(4)

Writing Style
(10)

Paragraph
s have strong
topic sentences
focus on 1
subject; formal,
appropriate
vocabulary.

Paragraphs
focus on one
subject; mostly
formal,
appropriate
vocabulary.
(8/7/6)

(10/9)

Paragraphs
wander or jump
between topics;
paragraphs are
exceedingly long or
short; informal or
vague vocabulary
(5/4/3)

P
s are m
lack of
subject
awkwar
informa
vague
vocabul

(2
Grammar
(10)

Correct
grammar,
spelling and
punctuation.
(10/9)

0-10
grammar, spelling,
and punctuation
errors.

11-20
grammar, spelling,
and punctuation
errors.

(8/7/6)

(5/4/3)

2
gramma
spelling
punctua
errors.

(2
Citations and
Quotations
(10)

Correctly
cites all sources,
meets source
requirements,
and
appropriately
uses quotes.
(5)

Correctly
cites most
sources, meets
source
requirements, and
appropriately uses
quotes.
(4)

Correctly
cites a few sources,
does not meet
source
requirements, and
errors in quotes
use.
(3/2)

M
sources
incorrec
not mee
require
and err
quotes
quotatio

(1

Global History I Research Paper Unit

5 Paragraph Essay Format – Mini Paper
Part 1
Wealth, across cultures and throughout time, equates to power in many
societies. When individual people are competing for such wealth, sometimes
the goals of a larger community can be lost. Ancient Rome was a society
where wealth and individual gain were highly valued. …The rise in the value
of luxury most significantly led to the downfall of the Roman Empire as
evident in Rome’s military and government structure, and through a change
in societal values.
Intro = general ideas narrowed to your thesis
Thesis should be clearly stated and reader should know what
your paper will be about

Part 2
1st thesis point
The rise in the value of luxury that corrupted the Roman Empire is evident in
the Roman military.
1. At its start, the Roman army was made up of men who fought to
protect their own land and volunteer service. Their motivation
was loyalty (Spears, 121).
i. What does this mean? How does it support your specific
thesis? This analysis is very important! Without it, you are
simply listing facts.
2. As the empire grew, the military need more soldiers than they
had volunteers. Being a soldier became a salaried position in
order to attract enough men to the job (Mraz, 3-4).
i. What does this mean? How does it support your specific
thesis? This analysis is very important! Without it, you are
simply listing facts.

Global History I Research Paper Unit

**When you turn this outline into a paper, treat each paragraph like
a mini- paper. This means that each body paragraph should have
introduction sentence and a concluding sentence.

Part 3
2nd thesis point
The rise in the value of luxury that corrupted the Roman Empire is evident in
the ancient Roman government structure.
1. Fact
2. Fact
3. Interpretation in your own words

Part 4
Conclusion
Restate thesis (remind the reader what your main points were), but broaden
to end your paper with the bigger picture.
You want your reader to walk away thinking about the significance
of your topic in their life. Ex: Readers may not have a particular interest
in ancient Rome, but a decline in patriotism contributed to Rome’s downfall
and is also a concern in our world today. Structure your conclusion so
readers leave thinking about this bigger theme. Why does this all matter?