Mersky – Research Standards 1
2010
Eighth Grade Language Arts
Research Paper
A Guide for Writing Research Papers
(Materials adapted from “A Guide for Writing Research Papers” and Writer’s Inc.)
The research project is the end result of your investigations on a selected
topic. Based upon your own ideas and thoughts in addition to the facts and
ideas you have gathered from many different sources, your research
project will be work that is yours and yours alone. The skills of gathering,
interpreting, and documenting information; developing and organizing
ideas and conclusions; and communicating them clearly will prove to be
important and satisfying aspects of your eighth grade education.
Research is an essential part of most businesses and professions. There
are many researching techniques and methods to document findings. The
library has many materials and computer sources that will help you, as do
your textbook and the handouts you will receive in class. It is extremely
important to follow consistently and accurately the concise format that will
be presented in class.
Gathering Materials
Once your topic has been approved, begin to gather information from
recognized reference books, encyclopedias, internet sites, magazines,
journals, and newspapers. Our school LRC and the public library contain
various researching tools and sources of information. Important new
resources are available to you through electronic services which provide
many learning and reference tools as well as access to the Internet, where
you can discover an abundance of information.
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Mersky – Research Standards 2
2010
Preparing a “Works Cited” Section
Once you have found the sources you intend to use, you will need to
identify them for your reader. For every source you use, create a separate
listing (on a 3x5 or 4x6 card), giving the following information:
For each BOOK you use, write a separate listing (on 3x5 or 4x6 card) giving
author (last name first), book title (underlined), city of publication,
publisher, date of publication, and “Print.”
1
Taylor, Margaret
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Evanston: McDougal Littell, 1997.
Print
For each ARTICLE you use from a magazine, journal, or newspaper, write a
separate listing (on a 3x5 or 4x 6 card) giving author (last name first),
article title (in quotation marks), source tile (underlined), date of
publication, pages, and “Print.”
2
Prin, Dinah, and Allen Gillespie
“Life in the Eighth Grade”
New Yorker Magazine
July 4, 1776
pp.23, 26-30
Print
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Mersky – Research Standards 3
2010
For each ARTICLE you use from a PRINT encyclopedia, write a separate
listing (on a 3x5 or 4x 6 card) giving author (last name first), article title (in
quotation marks), source tile (underlined) and “Print,” and date of
publication.
2
Wardowski, Wilfred F.
“Kumquat”
World Book Encyclopedia
Print
2004
p.477
For each WEB SITE you use from an Internet source, write a separate
listing (on a 3x5 or 4x 6 card) giving author (last name first), name of page
(underlined), date of posting , name of institution affiliated with the site,
date of access, and “Web.”
3
Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
Dec 2003
Purdue University
17 Mar. 2004
Web
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Mersky – Research Standards 4
2010
For each ARTICLE you use from an Internet source, write a separate listing
(on a 3x5 or 4x 6 card) giving author (last name first), article title (in
quotation marks), name of web site (underlined), date of posting ,name of
institution affiliated with the site, “Web,” and date of access.
4
Poland, David.
“The Cold Button”
Roughcut
26 Oct. 1998.
Turner Network Television
Web
17 Mar. 2010
For each VIDEO SITE (You Tube) you use from an Internet source, write a
separate listing (on a 3x5 or 4x 6 card) giving site title (in quotation marks),
date of image, title of larger site, “Web,” and date of download.
5
“Woodstock 1969”
No date
You Tube
Web
14 June 2009
You might also use other reference books, newspapers, electronic sources,
audio-visual materials, and other sources of information. Documentation
for these sources is listed in the works cited guide (pp.).
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Mersky – Research Standards 5
2010
Taking Notes
As you examine each source, make a separate note of each fact or
quotation you might want to use in your project. For each note card you
create, you MUST include the following information on each and every note
card:
 works cited reference number in the upper right-hand corner
 specific topic which corresponds to an item on your outline
 facts/quotations which match the topic and source page number
in bottom right-hand corner of the note card
1
Unity in a Paragraph
“When a paragraph has unity, all the sentences relate to the main idea.”
A paragraph may have all the necessary elements but still needs unity
for clear understanding.
p.301
(Try to summarize the information in your own words; use quotation marks
if you copy the information exactly.)
Each specific topic should relate to your paper’s content. By arranging
and rearranging the listings and using topic headings, you may discover
areas where you need additional information, areas where you have a great
deal of information, and/or areas that are not appropriate for your project.
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Mersky – Research Standards 6
2010
PLAGIARISM
Using someone else’s ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or
phrasing as your own either on purpose or through carelessness, is a
serious offense known as plagiarism.
Please be certain that you understand the concept of plagiarism.
The penalty for plagiarism is zero points for the content portion of your
project.
“Ideas or phrasing” includes written or spoken material, of course, but it
also includes statistics, lab results, and art work. “Someone else” can
mean a professional source (in a published work), an electronic source, or
another person. If you do not understand the concept of plagiarism or the
proper methods of documentation, please request assistance from your
teacher or the librarians.
Preparing the “Works Cited” Page from Your Listing of Resources
Every work from which you derived information used in your project must
have a works cited card and must be listed on the Works Cited page of the
written portion of your project in the approved format. (See pages 10 - 15.)
Each works cited card should be placed in alphabetical order by the
author’s (editor’s) last name. If no author (editor) is given, alphabetize by
the first word in the title of the piece. (In establishing alphabetical order,
ignore the words “a,” “an,” and “the.”) A sample works cited page has
been included on page 9.
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Mersky – Research Standards 7
2010
Final Oral Report Format and Requirements
In addition to submitting a hardcopy of your work to Ms. Mersky
on May 17, 2010, you MUST submit your work to turnitin.com.
Paper: Use white, 81/2 x 11 inch paper.
Margins: Leave one-inch margins around the written portion of your
paper. (The normal default on most programs is adequate.)
Spacing: The paper should be double-spaced.
Title page: The title of your paper should appear approximately 1/3 down
from the top of the page; it should be centered, appropriately capitalized
without underlining or quotation marks. Your name, your teacher’s name,
the course name and hour, and the date should appear – all on separate
double-spaced lines – approximately 2/3 down the page and centered.
(sample title page)
Completing a Research Paper
(centered)
Your Name
Ms. Mersky
Language Arts 8
17 May 2010
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Mersky – Research Standards 8
2010
Outline page: This is the second page of your written work. Center the
title of your paper, approximately one inch down from the top of the page.
Every entry on your outline page must be double-spaced. Below your title,
place your thesis statement. Every entry (Roman numerals, capital letters,
and numbers) must “line up.” The first Roman numeral entry (I.) is the word
“Introduction.” The last Roman numeral entry (V. or higher) is the word
“Conclusion.”
(Sample outline page: this sample is abbreviated; yours must have greater detail.)
Completing a Research Project
This project will explore several aspects of successfully completing a
research project: the background information, the process itself, and the
presentation.
I.
Introduction
II.
Background into completing research
A. Readings
B. Classroom work
III. The research process
IV. Writing the paper
V.
Conclusion
Written copy of presentation: A written copy of your presentation is
the third part of the written work. Include your last name and the page
number in the right corner of a header. The only heading is the title of your
work, centered at the top of the first page. Make certain to include
applicable internal documentation
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Mersky – Research Standards 9
2010
Works Cited page: This is the fourth and final portion of the required
written work to be submitted with your note cards. The title of this page is
Works Cited. The title is centered, but it is NOT underlined, in bold print,
italicized, or placed in “quotation marks.” Double space before the first
entry.
 The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin. If the
entry takes more than one line, the second line (and any additional lines
needed for the entry) should be indented. This is known as a hanging
indent or reverse indenting.
 Double space each entry; double space between entries.
 Entries should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name. If there is
no author, order entries alphabetically by the first word of the title
(omitting a, an, and the)
Mersky 12
Works Cited
“About Lacrosse.” US Lacrosse. Web. 3 Mar. 2009.
Bright, Chris. “Lacrosse and the Iroquois.” World Watch Nov./Dec. 2001:
17-18. Worldwatch Institute. Web. 3 Nov. 2004.
Fisher, Donald M. Lacrosse: A History of the Game. Baltimore:
John Hopkins University Press, 2002. Print.
Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. Lacrosse: The National Game of the Iroquois.”
New York: Holiday House, 1998. Print.
“Lacrosse.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. Print.
Olson, Elizabeth. “Lacrosse Makes a Comeback.” New York Times 17 Feb.
2004: D5+. Print.
US Lacrosse. “Participation Survey 2007.” Web. 9 Mar. 2009.
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Mersky – Research Standards 10
2010
Works Cited Examples
Book with one author (or editor):
Torre, Joe. The Yankee Years. New York: Doubleday, 2009. Print.
Two or more books by the same author:
After the first mention of the author’s name, use three hyphens followed by
a period to indicate “same author as above.”
Austen Jane. Northanger Abbey. Ed. Anne Henry Ehrenpreis. London,
Penguin, 1985. Print.
---. Persuasion. Ed. D. W. Harding. London: Penguin, 1985. Print.
Book with two or three authors (or editors):
Cosby, Camille O., and Renee Poussaint. A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary
African American Elders Speak. New York, Atria, 2004. Print.
Book with more than three authors (or editors):
Odell, Lee, et al. Elements of Language – Second Course. Austin: Holt,
Rinehart, and Winston, 2001. Print.
Book with a corporate author:
American Allergy Association. Allergies and Children. New York:
Random House, 1998. Print.
Book with no author named:
Encyclopedia of Photography. New York: Crown Publishers, 1994. Print.
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Mersky – Research Standards 11
2010
One volume in a multi-volume work:
McMahon, Thomas, ed. “Pablo Picasso.” Authors and the Artists for
Young Adults. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Print
Government Publication:
United States. U.S. General Accounting Office. Student Testing; Current
Extent and Expenditures, with Cost Estimates for a National
Examination. Washington, DC: GAO, 1993. Print.
Pamphlet:
Stevenson, George B. Trees of Everglades National Park and the Florida
Keys, 2nd ed. Miami: Banyan, 1969. Print.
Encyclopedia Article (author known):
Barr, William: “Northwest Passage.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1998 ed.
Print.
Encyclopedia Article (author unknown):
“The Great Depression.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1978 ed. Print.
Magazine article (author known):
Prin, Dinah, and Allen Gillespie. “Life in the Eighth Grade.” New Yorker
Magazine. 4 July, 1776: 23, 26-30. Print.
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Mersky – Research Standards 12
2010
Magazine article (author unknown):
“The Decade of the Spy.” Newsweek. 7 March 1994: 26-27. Print
Newspaper article (author known):
Taub, Erica A. “Webcam Brings 3-D to Topps Sports Cards.” New
York Times 9 Mar. 2009, Southern ed. B4. Print.
Newspaper Editorial
“Voting Rights Progress.” Editorial. Wall Street Journal 10 Mar. 2009:
A14. Print.
Newspaper Column:
Geithner, Timothy, and Shaun Donovan. Housing Plan’s Aim: Help People
Help Themselves.” USA Today 19 Feb 2009: 9A. Print.
Letter to the Editor:
Johnson, Shirley. Letter. Palm Beach Post 6 Mar. 2009: A12. Print
Internet Sources:
On-line images:
Smith, Greg. “Rhesus Monkey in the Zoo.” 1989. Monkey Picture Gallery.
Web. 3 May 2003.
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Mersky – Research Standards 13
2010
Online Magazine Article:
Landsburg, Steven E. “Grade Expectations.” Slate 12Aug. 1999. Web. 12
Jan. 2008.
Online Newspaper Article:
Associated Press. “Freeing Willy, in Real Life.” New York Times on the
Web 8 Sept. 1999. Web. 22 Dec. 1999.
Online Reference Work:
Tufts, Eleanor. “Cassatt, Mary.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
Scholastic. 2004. Web. 19 Sept. 2004.
Online Video:
Murphy, Professor Kevin. “Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Take,.’ ” You
Tube. Ithaca College, New York. Web. 6 Mar. 2009.
Professional Web Site:
Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Dec. 2000. Indiana U.
Web. 3 Feb. 2003.
Page on Web Site
“Information Technology.” Career Voyages. U.S. Departments of Labor
and Education. 9 Feb 2008. Web. 12 May 2010.
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Mersky – Research Standards 14
2010
“NFL Standings: Division.” National Football League (NFL). 6 Mar. 2009.
Web. 7 Mar. 2009.
Stolley, Karl, Kristen Seas, Tony Rouse, and Elizabeth Angeli. “MLA
Formatting and Style Guide.” The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at
Purdue. 25 Feb. 2009. Web. 16 Oct. 2009.
“Where We Work: Around the World and in a Myriad of Habitats.” The
Nature Conservancy. 2009 Web. 14 Oct. 2009.
Other Sources:
Television or Radio Program:
Nightly News with Brian Williams. NBC. WPTV-TV5. Boynton Beach, FL.
12 Feb. 2010. Television.
Film or Video Recording:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Sony Pictures Home
Entertainment. 2007. Film.
Interview that you conducted:
Redford, Robert. Personal interview. 24 Sept. 1996.
Interview that you observed:
Clinton, Bill. Interview with Ted Koppel. Nightline. ABC. WTNH, New
Haven. 14 Nov. 1996. Television.
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Mersky – Research Standards 15
2010
Print advertisement:
Lufthansa. Advertisement. Time. 29 Nov. 2000: 151. Print
TV advertisement:
Staples. Advertisement. CBS. 3 Dec. 2000. Television.
Sound recording:
U2. All That You Can Leave Behind. Interscope, 2000.
Documentation information based upon:
Goldenberg, Phyllis. Writing a Research Paper. New York: William H.
Sadlier, Inc. 2010. Print.
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