Conducting Short Research Projects


Conducting Short Research Projects teaches students all about research and how to write a research report. Students will discover what resources are and how to cite them properly. They will also learn how to check whether a specific resource is credible or not.

In the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page, you will find a suggestion for an introductory activity. To show students what not to do, you can show them the video “The Ten Top Essay Writing Don’ts” using the link provided. You could show them “Eighteen Bizarre Research Topics” as well. These videos will demonstrate the opposite of good research and help them understand why it is important to develop good questions and a focused thesis.

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What our Conducting Short Research Projects lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Conducting Short Research Projects guides students through the steps of doing a research project. Students will learn how to pick a topic and narrow it down with specific questions. They will discover that a narrow topic helps them focus the research they explore. They will learn basic steps for writing research reports, what resources to use, and how to cite them. In addition, they will learn how to verify whether or not a resource is credible.

The lesson contains three pages of content. The first page explains what research is and provides a basic foundation for the concept of a research paper. Students will learn eight steps that they can follow to prepare and write a good research essay. The lesson describes each step clearly and relates each one to an overall example.

Students will learn how to cite their sources as well. The final content page explains step seven, cite sources, and provides an example. Because there are many styles people use in their citations. You can choose which one your students will use and walk through a guide for that style with them.


Depending on your class, you may want students to work in groups or with a partner for the activity. However, the instructions are written as if students are working alone. There are eight topics on the worksheet. One is already complete as an example. For each topic, students will write a topic sentence that narrows down the broader topic. They can only use one sentence.


The practice worksheet requires students to find sources to support a topic. The topic is about garbage being harmful to the environment. Students will review the topic and thesis statement and look for sources that support it. They should try to use different sources and not just a single type, such as books. There are four blank index cards on the worksheet with which they can organize their sources.


For the homework assignment, students will build on what they completed in for the practice worksheet. Students will use the information they gathered and write a short, two-paragraph research report on plastic pollution. They will need to cite their sources.

Additional information


6th Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.