Research Paper Rubric and Steps
Requirements: Points Possible Your Points Comments

Format Grade

Pocket Folder 5

Source Cards (at least 4) 5

Note Cards (at least 25) 5

Outline 5

Rough Draft 5

Peer Editing 5

Highlighted Articles 10

Typing to Standard 10

Header and Title 5

Citations 20

Works Cited page 25

Total / 100

Content Grade

Introduction/ Thesis 10

Clearly states argument

Maps organization

Organization 20

Specific Thesis

Body Paragraphs =Thesis

Within Paragraphs

Topic Sentences


Quality of Information 30

5-7 pages

Four Sources

Variety of sources

Well-chosen support

Direct Quotes

Indirect Quotes

Focus 20

Argues Position

Quotes support argument

Style / Diction 10

Formal Language

-(No first person, I, my, our)

-(No second person you)

Conclusion 10

Total / 100

Steps in Researching and Constructing a Research Paper

1) Purchase Necessary Materials

  • Lined Index Cards 3X5 size only
  • Wireless Notebook Paper
  • Pencil
  • Blue or Black Pen
  • Yellow Highlighter (for parenthetical documentation)
  • Rubber Bands (5)
  • Pocket Folder with 3-prong closure at center

2) Choose a topic. It should be controversial and interesting to YOU! Bring at least two topics to our first library research day. This will allow you to have a backup plan if you find your first topic is not a good choice.

3) Our three days in the library should help you

  • Determine if you feel comfortable with the topic.
  • Determine if there is enough information available from a variety of sources (at least four different kinds of sources).
  • Determine how to limit your topic to a reasonable scope (5 – 10 pages).
  • Create at least five note and / or source cards to submit each day we are in the library.

4) Formulate a temporary yet SPECIFIC thesis to guide your purposive reading.

5) Make note cards.

  • Use 3X5 size lined cards.
  • Create a source card for each source before you begin to take notes from each source.
  • Be sure to use correct format. Check pages 31-37 in your blue Writing a Research Paper Book. If you cannot find what you need there, the silver MLA handbook (current edition) may be found in the FHS library. Finally, The Purdue OWL is an excellent place to find information. Just be sure to select MLA 2009 version! If you still have questions, please see me! I would be happy to help!
  • Think before you write! Does the information you are copying support your thesis?
  • Copy the information verbatim from the source and place quotations around it.
  • If you must continue a quote on a second card, staple them together, writing on the front of the card ONLY.
  • Do not write on the back of a card.

6) Sort your note cards into the major areas and rubber band one area together, then all the cards from all the areas together as well. (You should have the already –rubber-banded-area-groupings rubber banded together.)

7) Construct a topic outline. Follow the instructions and examples on pages 66-77 to complete the outline.

8) Construct your rough draft.

  • Use a lead-in to introduce your quotes and paraphrased information.
  • Use parenthetical documentation in the paper to indicate where you have used borrowed information. Pages 96-106 in your Writing a Research Paper book contain the necessary information!
  • Include directly and indirectly quoted material in your draft. Both are requirements of this paper.
  • Never butt one quote against another. You must explain what each quote or paraphrase adds to your argument and then transition to another point before including another quote.
  • Never end a paragraph with a quote.

9) Construct a Works Cited page. See the example pp.149 in your book!

  • Be sure entries are alphabetized according to the first word in each.
  • Be sure the whole page is double spaced with no extra spaces skipped between the title and the entries or the entries themselves.
  • Double check punctuation!
  • Do NOT forget to add the “source type” information on the end and a period. This is NEW in the 2009 update. See Purdue OWL for examples!

10) Construct the Final Draft.

  • Do you have a running head that includes your last name, one space, and the sequential page number in the right-hand corner of each page?
  • Do you have a 4-line heading that begins the body of your paper (NOT in the header!) containing your


Mrs. Tenney

Class and period

Due Date of the paper in European format day month year

· Is your title centered and capitalized appropriately, but not underlined / italicized?

· Have you used TAB to indent each paragraph a full five spaces?

· Have you used parenthetical documentation to accurately cite every piece of borrowed information, whether it is paraphrased or directly quoted?

· Does each parenthetical reference match the first word in the Works Cited page entry that matches it?

· Are there any extra works on the Works Cited page that you have NOT cited in your paper? If so, remove them from the Works Cited page.

11) Place your research paper in the prongs. Place your graded note cards and approved outline in the right pocket. Place your highlighted articles in the left pocket. Be sure to highlight ONLY what you have used in the paper.

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