1.)Guide the students through the following process of completing self-directed research and producing a career exploration research paper.
THINK ABOUT YOU -
Think about school activities that you like to do. Which activities are you skilled in; for example, what is easy for you to do? How important are these activities to you? These are some of the interests and skills you should consider when selecting an occupation. Ask the counselor to provide a career interest inventory.
(The teacher will provide one such inventory, the Self-Evaluation Worksheet, downloaded from this web site:
)Print pages seven through eleven.
2.)DECIDE ON A CAREER AND DEVELOP A TEMPORARY OUTLINE WITH THESIS STATEMENT - Start with a solid overview article to gain a perspective of an outline if you are new to writing career research papers. For example, go to this URL: http://www.bls.gov
and search your career. From this article, you can surmise a general outline to guide you in your research. (TEACHERS: See attachment, Career Research Paper Outline, for an example.) All students should be given a copy of the attachment, "ubric for Grading Research Papers."
3.)RESEARCH, BUT DOCUMENT YOUR SOURCES METICULOUSLY - Go and search encyclopedias, (such as Career Discovery Encyclopedia), books, or Internet sites (such as www.bls.gov). You are looking for articles that provide information needed for your outline (which will make your life easier when you are writing your research paper). YOU MUST DOCUMENT YOUR SOURCES ACCURATELY - we are using MLA style. Here are two beneficial websites with information you can use: http://www.thewritesource.com/mla/
Use a 3x5" index card for each source. Make sure you label the card with number "1," "2," "3," etc. and mark the copy of the article with the exact same number so you do not get them confused. (TEACHERS: See attachment, "Sample of a source card," for an example.)
4.)LABEL NOTECARDS AND TAKE RELEVANT NOTES from your articles. You will want to keep your outline close at hand - label outline reference letters and numbers in your article and write relevant information and page number on the proper notecard. Double check that notes from source 1 go on notecard 1 ... accuracy measures the strength of your research. After taking your notes, rearrange your notecards and outline if you feel the information flows more smoothly.
5.)WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT. It is much easier if you document your source article and page number in your rough draft when you introduce the information that you have discovered in your research, i.e., (Canfield and Hansen, 77).
6.)REVIEW, EDIT, and REVISE your research paper. Add your introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph. Have a peer reader (or close teacher) who is an excellent proofreader read and suggest edits - this is the paper you want read for quality and clarity. (STUDENTS: I WANT TO STRESS TO YOU TO CORRECT ALL MISTAKES IDENTIFIED IN THIS STEP WHEN YOU BEGIN TYPING.)
7.)TYPE YOUR PAPER. You will need to follow the guidelines as to margins, content of the title page, career or outline typed on outline page, pagination numerals, and guidelines for the first page of your text. Basically, you should use 1" margins, 1 space after punctuation, and double space your paragraphs (except for blocked quotations). Find a sample of an excellent research paper so you can examine the overall "look and feel." Add your parenthetical documentation while you are typing. AGAIN, STRESS PERFECTION. USE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR CHECKER. IN YOUR FINAL SEARCH, START AT LAST PAGE AND LAST WORD AND WORK BACKWARDS THROUGH PAPER TO LOCATE ANY SNEAKY MISTAKES.
8.)GOOD WRITING TAKES TIME. Let your paper "incubate" - then review your articles, your notecards, and your typed paper. ADD, EDIT, REVIEW, REVISE as needed. Have a proofreader check it again for accuracy and clarity. Ask them to write any questions on your paper. This is your final check for richness of language in your vocabulary choice. In addition, check your paragraphs for transition words to help your writing flow smoothly.
9.)ASSEMBLE YOUR PAPER IN THE FINAL FORMAT REQUESTED BY THE TEACHER. Generally, you will include a title page, your outline, your research paper, "References Cited" or bibliography page, and appendices if needed. Copies of articles used should be placed in the Appendix. You may want to add two sheets of blank paper to the end of the research paper. Comments may be added throughout the paper or on these last pages.
10.)PRESENT YOUR PAPER. Show and explain your career paper to your parents and friends before submitting it for final grading. If presenting to the class, see if you can add a visual aid, such as dressing in clothing associated with that career. You might re-search your articles to discover a graph or chart that might be effective in your presentation, such as the number of those employed today versus the predicted future shortage or surplus.