The I-Search Paper, developed by Ken Macrorie, helps students reflect on their own research habits. It can be used to scaffold to a traditional research paper or as a culminating project, helping tie together many themes and ideas expressed in any literature course. This unit takes three weeks in a course that meets daily for 90 minutes or five weeks in a course that meets daily for 60 minutes.
Lasting Ideas & Results:
This unit involves discussing the reliablity of sources, the definition and consequences of plagiarism, the compilation of a correctly-formatted works cited page, the evaluation of an American artist in relation to themes from American Literature, and all steps of the writing process from idea proposal to a polished final draft.
What is the purpose of research? What is responsible research? What are some methods for evaluating sources? How can my artist be explained in the context of American Literature in an organized, logical fashion?
Desired Learner Outcomes:
Students will learn traditional, reliable methods for research. They will evaluate their own research processes and take note of their habits. They will complete the writing process in order to produce several stages of their research paper. They will consider themes and personalities in American Literature and how the artist they choose contributes to an overall theme.
Standards (based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study):
Students will be able to analyze the relationships among United States authors and their works in terms of major themes in American Literature by making and supporting valid responses about texts through references to other works and authors and by comparing texts to show similarities or differences in themes, characters, or ideas.
Students will be able to reflect and respond expressively to texts so that the audience will discover multiple perspectives, investigate connections between life and literature, explore how the student's life experiences influence his or her response to the selection, recognize how the responses of others may be different, articulate insightful connections between life and literature consider cultural or historical significance.
Topic Proposal, List of Sources, Outline, MLA Works Cited, Rough Draft and Final Draft
Access to computers, access to a library and research materials; other resources outlined per lesson