Grade 11 literacy in social studies: Research paper

This Common Core-aligned unit is not tied to specific content in the curriculum so it may be presented at any time during the year. However, the unit assumes that students have already achieved proficiency in a number of research, reading, and writing skills. For that reason, the unit is probably best implemented in the second semester, so that there is time to review and build on necessary skills in the first semester. The skill‐building lessons (research and argument writing) and formative assessments in this unit are designed to take place over the course of two or three months (about 10 lessons), while regular content-­based units continue. The final portion of the unit, in which students are researching and writing, spans 2–4 weeks. The task for this unit is to write a formal 10­‐page research paper on any topic in American history. The research paper will answer a student‐generated thesis question by drawing from a mix of relevant primary and secondary sources. The paper will be organized into sections to clearly support its thesis. Relevant, scholarly evidence will be smoothly integrated into the text and cited using appropriate signal phrases and The Chicago Manual of Style footnotes and bibliography.

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