Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Research Essay: Topics

Sorry I've been a little MIA recently. Last week was conferences, which was a crazy time and meant weird schedules and long days. Then I had 72 junior essays come in, so I spent the better part of the last 5 days grading feverishly. They are all finally finished and handed back!

Well, we are about to embark on our big essay for the semester: the research essay. We did not used to do a research essay at junior level until Common Core (we did argumentative writing with research, but not an expository research paper). Because we are starting Gatsby at the end of the month, I decided to tie in their possible research topics to that and the time period in which it's set.

This is one of my favorite novels, and I am so excited to start it! We have also done mainly non-fiction, so I'm happy to get any fiction at all in.

I decided to come up with possible topics myself and let two students per class period be on each topic associated with the 20s. We are drawing for topics tomorrow. Their assignment tonight was to do some basic research/Googling and see which three or four they may be interested in.

I thought I'd do a little series on the Research Essay and blog about different parts of the process. So I will continue to update you all. For now, here is the list of topics I came up with, in case you are interested in having your students do a similar essay or research project. Because their essays are 3-4 pages, they will need to narrow their chosen topic and have a more specific focus. For instance, they could focus on just one athletic figure of the 20s and his/her professional life.

Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Jazz Era
Harlem Renaissance
Fashion of the 20s
Sports or athletic figures
The Great Depression/Black Tuesday
"Roaring 20s"/economic prosperity
Technological progress of the 20s
Authors or books from the 20s
Women's Suffrage/voting rights
A President from the 20s

1 comment:

  1. Great idea! I always do background research projects before starting a unit. My kids are doing a Webquest on Apartheid right now before we start reading Cry, The Beloved Country tomorrow :)

    Tales of Teaching in Heels