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Chemistry LibreTexts

What, How, and Why?

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    Aside from being something of a "rite of passage" provided compliments of the Jefferson County Public Schools curriculum, the senior research paper is an opportunity to hone the skills you'll use as a lifelong learner

    By the end of unit 6, you will have composed a five (5) page research-based argument to persuade the reader of the centrality and influence of an important figure in modern U.S. history. See the examples attached to this page. Both of these students went "above and beyond" and earned full points on the assignment. Notice not only the length but the integration and depth as they argued for why that person was significant.























    Your process for creating this final paper will mirror what you did in unit 5 on Martin Luther King, Jr.  You'll create this paper over a five-week unit. In the first two sessions, you'll gather information and take notes. In session three, you'll conduct your own primary research and begin to draw conclusions (an outline) from your information. In sessions four and five, you'll draft and revise the final paper and be sure you have cited and formatted according to the academic style guide known as MLA.

    Ultimately your goal is to answer the question "Why is this person influential?" with a research-based argument. While the paper itself may seem like an artificial task, keep in mind that in the real world, you'll often need to argue your position using research support.  Remember, too, that schools, parks, libraries, and events are often named with consideration of a given individual's accomplishments -- and someone had to present justification for the name.  

    In this unit you will develop general cognitive abilities. You'll evaluate which questions are worth asking, which sources are worth using, and what information is most valuable. You'll paraphrase and present information, you'll identify cause-effect relationships, and you'll construct an argument by accounting for audience needs. These skills you'll use in many contexts, and the ultimate lifelong skill is the ability to research itself.

    Let's get started!