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The Teacher Tip

Jump Start Student Research

June 8, 2018

Adapted from Fearless Writing by Tom Romano.

When students choose research topics, get them thinking about those topics in a concentrated way by having them complete a "research design." The design represents useful thinking for students at every grade level. Kindergarten students might talk about these ideas instead of writing about them, but they are still worth considering.

Try them out:

  1. Name your topic.
  2. Describe what you know about your topic. Without consulting anything, freewrite about it, in bullets if you like. Let this writing sit a day or so, then revisit and refine it, adding specificity and editing redundancies.
  3. Tell what you want to learn about your topic.
  4. Describe the origins of your research. What sparked your interest in the topic? Why do you want to know more about it?
  5. List at least a dozen questions you have about your topic.
  6. Describe your plan for collecting information about your topic.
  7. Provide a preliminary bibliography.

Romano, Tom. 2013. Fearless Writing: Multigenre to Motivate and Inspire.

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