woman reading a textbookThe Research area is comprehensive and provides a scaffolded, step-by-step approach to the process of writing a paper with sources. Students can be taken through each step, and teachers can structure a course or a portion of a course around each of these steps. In computer classrooms, teachers may have students complete one step on a particular day in class. In a traditional classroom, teachers may want to practice a “flipped” curriculum and have students complete a step at home and then come to class ready to practice with that step. Online courses can be structured around each step of the process as well, as students can complete process activities in modules leading up to a due date for an essay.

Because each step of Research features a student sample video and a section called “Time to Write,” this area can easily be integrated into a curriculum and can supplement or replace textbooks that take students through the process of writing a paper with sources.

Activity Ideas for Research

  • After reviewing information on “Assignment Analysis,” students can complete their own assignment analysis using the assignment from the course.
  • Students can submit their own research questions to their instructors or classmates for feedback after completing the “Narrowing and Developing” section.
  • Teachers can use the “Research Strategies” section as an introduction to a lesson or unit on finding information on the web or in academic databases.
  • Once students complete the section on “Thesis or Focus,” and take the interactive quiz for practice, students can submit a working or tentative thesis for feedback.
  • After completing the section on “Note Taking” students can submit notes from their research process either electronically or on note cards.
  • The “outlining” section provides sample outlines. Students can use the samples and watch the video cast to help them create the outline for their own paper.
  • Drafting and Integrating” encourages students to remember that a draft is a rough draft and to integrate sources effectively. In addition to having students complete a draft at this state, teachers can use the “Signal Phrase” activity to have students practice integrating sources and then submit some samples for review and feedback.
  • The “Revising and Editing” section features checklists in interactive PDFs. Students can complete the checklists as they engage in revision and editing and submit the PDFs via email or in print along with revision and editing notes on their papers.
  • If students are completing an Annotated Bibliography or a Literature Review as a part of their research/writing process, teachers will want to take advantage of these sections of the OWL, which provide instruction and a sample Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review.

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