THE RESEARCH TRAIL Second Quarter Research Project Essential questions (to be asked and answered): What does it mean to be an ethical researcher? How can I read informational text actively? Purpose: To experience the research process of gathering relevant information on a specific topic, writing the information in your own words, presenting the information in an organized, well-written paragraph, and properly citing the sources of that information. Task: Select a topic of your choosing to research. During the research of your first topic you will gather relevant information and organize it into a well written 7-10 sentence paragraph. You will then properly cite the source of information and successfully avoid plagiarism. During your search you will select two (2) additional related topics to research. The second and third topics must connect to your first topic in some way, thus creating the “Research Trail”. This will allow you some freedom to jump from one topic to another, which sometimes happens during the research process. Just make sure that each of your topics are connected in a logical way. You will submit three (3) researched topics in total. Steps: 1. Choose a topic to research. 2. Find at two credible sources then choose the best one for gathering information. Web sites or reference books. 3. Take notes and paraphrase the information that you read. 4. Document your source. Write down the URL address or title and author of reference book. 5. Organize your writing. Compose 7-10 sentence paragraph for each topic. Because this is a research brief of one paragraph—not a five-paragraph essay—the first sentence of your brief is your thesis statement (main idea). Remember to Cite your sources. 6. Repeat this process for each of the topics on the Research Trail. Special note: The research briefs are considered formal writing, so do not use first person in your writing, meaning no use of I, we, my, our, mine. Plagiarism Contract I, _________________________________, am aware of the serious nature of plagiarism and will not intentionally use or submit someone else’s work without acknowledgement. Furthermore, I will not misrepresent someone else’s work as my own. Signature ______________________________________ Date____________________ Note: You may be required to process major papers through www.turnitin.com before earning a grade. Also, you may be required to complete a one-on-one interview with the teacher to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject matter.