Research Papers on Insects

This is an example of how writing a research paper was done from beginning to end.

Prior to researching individually, the class worked together in a structured manner to write a research paper on butterflies.  Notes gathered together as a class, and then each child was assigned to a section of the paper to organize and write.  When it came time to write their own individual research papers, they already had a basic understanding of the outline and process.

The first step in writing individual research reports was to introduce the topic. I felt it was important to integrate the writing assignment to other areas of study going on in the classroom so insects were selected as the topic. Images of the four insect choices were provided and students placed their names near the insect they wanted to study.








Next, students set up a research notes folder which would hold all their notes on the topic they selected.  These folders were divided into four sections.  The sections included, “What they eat, what they do, where they live, and what they look like”.

















Plenty of time was allowed for research in non-fiction texts and modeling of how to take good notes was reviewed on several occasions.  Notes were taken on post-its and placed in the correct topic area.  Children were encouraged to have at least three notes in each section.








After approximately a week of note taking, children were given an organizational outline to place their post-its to and begin writing sentences from the notes.  Sentence writing skills were reviewed and discussed in detail at this time.









When all the notes were written as sentences, they were transferred onto new sheets as paragraphs.  Topic sentences were also developed during this step.  A review of creating a variety of sentences and topic sentences was done.

















The editing process could begin once everyone had written their rough drafts.  First, individuals took time to read over their own writing.  Then, with a partner, they went through the editing process again.  When the peer editing was completed, I quickly looked over the papers and added small edits that were missed or needed more work.
















To begin writing final drafts of the research paper, we reviewed technical aspects of writing a paper such as indentation and titles.


















The final step in the process was to illustrate the research papers.