On that web, they write down any topics they would be interested in researching.
Then, I comb them all for common themes. In doing so, I filter out topics that I know they will struggle with — be it difficulty in finding credible sources or topics that are more complex than they might be ready to handle. This year, many of my students wanted to write about video games Fortnite , sports, band, music, hunting, and homework. When students begin suggesting topics that do not fit the assignment goal or for which I know they will not be able to find credible research, I pull out this list.
Writing a good research paper outline
Other times, I give them the list on Day 1. In this case, I tell them if they are extremely interested in writing about a different topic, they need to get it approved before proceeding. This option satisfies their desire for choice. Interestingly enough, most students just choose I topic I have pre-selected.
These students are not always the lowest writers in the class. Struggling writers often benefit not only from being given a topic, but also from being given sources. I usually have an essay topic on hand as well as two complementary sources.
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Regardless of the approach you take to helping students choose research topics, narrowing the topic from one worthy of an encyclopedia to one worthy of a two page essay is challenging. I like to teach my students to funnel their ideas.
Reviewing the Research Process
Confident writers need to understand how to funnel topics into research questions. From there, they should be able to write a thesis statement and know that it is debatable from two sides. They should also be able to say with certainty that they can find credible research to defend both sides of the argument. The brainstorming stage of the writing process should take time. Topic selection can be fun!
Allow students to discuss and brainstorm ideas. Model the process for them. Give them time for peer feedback.
Reviewing the Research Process
Most importantly, scaffold the process to meet students where they are. Choosing a research topic that fits the genre of writing expected is the first step to a successful writing experience. Click on the image below to view the argumentative research paper brainstorming materials I use to help my students select a topic, funnel it, and develop a research question.
Help students choose research topics without the frustration. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive ELA inspiration and resources! An avid reader and writer, I've had the privilege of teaching English for over a decade and am now an instructional coach.
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In my free time, I enjoy loving on my kids, deconstructing sentences, analyzing literature, making learning fun, working out, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Top Posts. Teaching Elaboration in Writing. Doing academic your buy of detail it them us little leave your for behind be remain that will cry just you means one secret system and doesn't our cannot mean term bothers an paper grades business thin can better you.
Social Justice Research Project - Mrs. Shelow's Classroom
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