Education

How to get Kids Ready to Write Research Papers

Introduction

When encouraging kids to write their research papers, preparation is very important. Research papers are a form of academic essay, so it is necessary to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of your topic and to start getting your reference list ready to include at the end of the paper.

If there is a choice of topics available, it is better if the child has an interest in his/her chosen topic as this makes it easier to research.

The Assignment

Your child’s first research paper is very important, so sit down with them and carefully read the content to see what needs clarifying.

Write a list of questions that the child will need to be clarified with the teacher before commencement.

Check the deadline date and length of the research paper to help them to complete it in the allocated time.

Write a list of key points to complete during the essay. Then set some SMART Goals. These are an acronym in goal setting to help the student complete on time.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound

Choose the Topic

In order to do my research paper, I must first choose a topic. Once you have a broad topic, try to narrow it down to meet the criteria of your assignment. it is better if your child can pick a topic that no one else in the class is doing, as this will make it much more unique and interesting.

Of course, the child will want to get a good mark so research it thoroughly.

Once your child has an interest in the topic, you are halfway there, to engage the child is half the battle. If you are asked to pick a topic with your child, look close to home, for example: What type of food is best for your dog? or Are cats nocturnal? (No, they are crepuscular). Most children are very interested in their animals and environment.

Have some discussion around the dinner table to broaden ideas around the topic, and then use a variety of sources to research the topic. Get your child to make notes as he/she researches, and your child will become used to researching online. If the subject is art or literature, visit the major galleries and libraries in your city. All these activities will help you to build the research. For younger children (13 or 14 years), this is such a good learning experience, and you will usually have plenty of time allowed to conduct the research thoroughly.

Thesis Statement

They may or may not be asked to develop a thesis statement, and when you start with a question, the thesis statement should answer it, and show what evidence and reasoning will be used to support the answer. This is where things get a bit difficult for kids, and you may need to guide the process, after all, you want it to be a pleasant learning experience. In an older student, it would be expected that the content was concise, coherent, and contentious. So with a first thesis, just keep it as simple as possible as this is just a practice run for later on.

Practice Writing the First Draft

To do my research paper, I will need a first draft. Of course, you don’t expect it to be perfect. One of the most important factors is to try and get the draft logically organized. If you are an academic parent, you will be able to aid this process. Paragraphs are the structure that the paper is built. Organizing the information is the hardest part, and as a parent, you can help with this aspect. Many of us still have trouble achieving this, and even later in life rewrites usually need to be done. So for a child, the first research paper should be nice and short, no more than two pages and it should have a conclusion.

Conclusion

The conclusion is designed to finalize the argument bringing a sense of finality. Be sure that the conclusion answers the question originally posed.

For example, Are cats nocturnal? No, they are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at twilight, dawn, and dusk. Then the topic can be built on to make it more interesting. For example, they hunt at dawn and dusk. The main thing is not to put the child off, but to spark their enthusiasm for writing research papers.

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