Senior Paper... Say What?!?!

A Reference Guide To Writing A Successful Research Paper

Your senior research paper is fast approaching...

hint: pick a topic that you are passionate about!

Where Should You Start?

Incorporate the following steps (to make life way easier during this time):








* You are following a "Guided Inquiry Model" which takes you through every step of the "Information Search Process." Carol Kuhlthau designed this specific model and, it works!

1. Initiate the Search...

"I am passionate about vegetarian eating; I want to write abut it. But, will I find enough information about my Senior Paper?

Typical feelings: uncertainty

*Try some basic search tools to see if you can find valuable information on the subjects chosen!

2. Selection of a topic...

"I have found enough information (using my library and its resources) to commit to a topic: "benefits of being a vegetarian".

Typical feelings: optimism

*Try not to change your mind by this point... :)

3. Explore The subject...

"I am overwhelmed at this point! How will I make my paper interesting, fascinating, and insightful? Did I pick the right topic?"

Typical feelings: confusion, frustration, doubt

*This too shall pass! This will prove to be the hardest, most rewarding part!

You are almost there... your paper is going to be amazing... only a few more steps to go!

4. Formulate your plan... "My ideas are coming together!"

Typical feelings: clarity, focused

*Make sure you are "selling" your topic to the reader. What do you want them to gain from reading your paper? How will your paper stand out from the rest?

5. Collecting Information...

"I have found loads of references from credible databases, webcasts, and interviews."

You should feel: a sense of direction, confidence

*Make sure your sources are reliable... ask a librarian for help!

6. Presentation...

"I handed in my senior paper; I have waited 13 years for this moment!"

Typical feelings: satisfaction

*Congratulations... just one more step left!

7. Assessment..

"The paper has been graded! Now, I can look over the teacher comments, and see what I could have done differently... or not!"

Typical feelings: sense of accomplishment

*Isn't it time to graduate? This project may have taken your mind off of that subject a bit... :)

Woohoo, you survived the Senior Paper writing project; you should be proud!

Common Core Standards Alignment:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.7 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.WHST.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.