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Parent Permission Form:

SIRS Issue Researcher
List of Issues
Pioneer Library (You will need your student login information to access this from home)





An Important Issue: Research Project


Have you ever participated in a science fair? Well, scientists aren’t the only ones who research . . .


Goals:
1. Learn how to use SIRS Issue Researcher and conduct original research about an issue that is important to you.
2. Learn how to create a properly cited bibliography.
3. Learn how to present findings to class in a well-organized presentation.
4. Learn how to respect others’ research and work.

List of assignments:

Assignment
Due Date
Points
1
Choose issue and get parent approval
April 4
20
2
Read four articles: two pro and two con so that you understand both sides of the issue
(fill out a worksheet)
April 10
40
3
Printed hardcopy of each article
April 10
20
4
Bibliography
April 10
20
5
Poster
April 17
75
6
Language Arts 7 Research Conference
April 18
50


TOTAL
225


If this seems like a lot of work, you’re right, it is! However, we will break down the research and writing process into smaller steps so you won’t feel as overwhelmed.

Think of it like climbing a mountain: you get to the top one step at a time. =)


ASSIGNMENT SUMMARY

Selecting an Issue to Research, and Parent Approval (Due April 4)
Download PDF:
The first step to a research project is to choose an issue you would like to know more about. Your parent(s) also need to approve your topic. Two reasons for this:
  1. To inform your parent what you will be learning about.
  2. Some of the topics are controversial. For this reason, you need to have your parent(s) approve which subject you would like to research.


Read at least Four (4) Articles (Due April 10)
The second step to a research paper is conducting the research. You need to read what the experts have to say about the subject. By reading their input, you become an expert, too!

Find four articles using SIRS Issues Researcher. It is important to know and understand all sides of an argument. It makes your final opinion stronger if you know more about each side. Therefore, you will:
-Read two articles on the Yes/Pro side
-Read two articles on the No/Con side
-Report findings on a worksheet
-Print out a copy of each article read to turn in (Students are encouraged to highlight and write notes on their articles. Due to limited school supplies, students will have to print these articles from home.)


Bibliography (Due April 10)
It is important to give credit to the articles where you found your ideas. You will complete a typed bibliography using MLA format.


Poster Requirements (Due April 17)
A detailed description of this will be given in class when we get closer to this step. Basically, you will create and organize a poster to present your findings. This will include information from both sides of the issue you researched, your opinion about the issue, plus a “call to action.” You will also need to add pictures to make your poster interesting.


Language Arts 7 Research Conference (Due April 18)
One of the best parts of research is sharing your findings with others. Scholars and professors attend various conferences to present their findings to their peers.

Our class will host its own conference. Students will divide into 2 groups. The first group will present while others walk around the classroom and take notes. Then, the second group will present so that everyone has had a chance to view and present.

BONUS: Many conferences also include snacks and beverages. We will do the same. =)


Dear Parents—

Your student is going to conduct an individual research project and create a poster to present their findings. I personally believe when students research issues that are important to them, they are more engaged in their own education. However, some subjects are also controversial. Because of this, your student and I would like you to inform you what subject s/he would like to research. We also request your approval.

Students will conduct research through a website called SIRS Issue Researcher, a website supported by Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library. According to SIRS’ site, “All articles, websites, videos, multimedia graphics, charts, maps, statistics, primary sources and government documents are hand-selected from thousands of national and international sources.” The site ensures that students receive accurate information from trustworthy sources. They will have an opportunity to research two opposing sides to an issue of their choice and reach their own conclusions.
I am excited for the students to conduct their research and present their findings. Students are encouraged to talk with their families about what they are learning about and engage in thoughtful discussions at home.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards,
Ms. Amanda R. Von Der Lohe
Language Arts
amanda.vonderlohe@jordandistrict.org
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fill out and return by Thursday, April 4, 2013

Student Name: _ Period: _

I would like to research one of the following issues:
1st choice:
2nd choice:
3rd choice:

Parents, please initial next to an option and sign below:
I give permission for my student to research his/her (circle one:) 1st 2nd 3rd choice.
My student and I have decided s/he should research a different topic: _
*Please discuss other options with your student and fill in the blank above. A selected list of available subjects is printed on the back of this worksheet. A full list is available on SIRS Issue Researcher. A link is also provided through my website above.

Parent signature: Date:

Choosing an Important Issue to Research:
_You will choose ONE issue to write about. Be as specific as possible.
_Choose an issue that you care about. It will be easier to write about an issue that you are interested in rather than one you don’t like.
_All topics require permission from your teacher and parents.
_IMPORTANT: If you write about an issue without permission, you will lose points and have to redo the poster.
_Below is a selected list of issues students may choose from. A comprehensive list is available through http://proquest.libguides.com/IssuesResearcher


Adoption
Advertising
Affirmative Action
Alternative Energy Sources
AlternativeEducation
Animal Cloning
Animal Rights
Beauty Pageants
Body Image
Bullying
Cheerleading
Civil Rights
Cloning
Copyright Infringement
Cosmetic Surgery
Criminal Justice
Cursive Writing
Cyberbullying
Death Penalty
Distracted Driving
Divorce
Downloading
Drugs
Eating Disorders
Endangered Species
Environmentalism
Extraterrestrial Life
Fad Diets
Family
Famine
Food Safety
Gambling
Gangs
Gay Rights
Genetic Engineering
Gun Safety
Hate Crimes
Health Care
Homelessness
Homeschooling
Homework
Hunting
Immigration
Junk Food Tax
Juvenile Delinquency
Local Food Movement
Mass Media
Media Bias
Medical Ethics
Mental Health
Military Recruiting
Mixed Martial Arts
Music Lyrics
Natural Disasters
Nuclear Energy
Obesity
Online Social Networks
Organ Donation
Organic Food
Polygamy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Religion
School Prayer
School Safety
School Uniforms
Single Parents
Smoking
Sports
Teens and Driving
Terrorism
Unemployment
Vaccines for Kids
Vegetarianism
Voting Age
Water Use
Women’s Rights
Work and Family
Zoos

NOTE: The only issues students may not research are “Cell Phones in School,” “Banned Books,” and “Television” because we already wrote essays about them in class.


CALENDAR OF DUE DATES**

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Week 1
March 25

Assignment given
26

Approval request sent home
27
28

N/S
29

N/S
Week 2
April 1

N/S
2

N/S
3
4

DUE: Parent approval
5
Week 3
8

Homework: Read Article 1 & 2
9

Homework: Read Article 3 & 4
10

DUE: Articles and Worksheet

DUE: Bibliography
11
12
Week 4
15
16
17

DUE: Poster
18

Lang Arts

Conference
19


NOTES:
1) Students are expected to print their articles from home and are encouraged to bring those articles to class to read during silent reading time. If students choose to read their articles at home instead, they may count reading their articles towards their reading log minutes.
2) At least two days (one class period each) will be given for students to work on their posters. Any work not completed in class will become homework.




In future years this assignment may be turned into an essay. However, for the 2012-2013 school year we will not write essays.

How to Write an Argument Essay (Coming Next Year)

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