Research Paper Template High School


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Students will use scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper about color psychology provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks.

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O'Day, S. (2006) Setting the stage for creative writing: Plot scaffolds for beginning and intermediate writers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Research paper scaffolding provides a temporary linguistic tool to assist students as they organize their expository writing. Scaffolding assists students in moving to levels of language performance they might be unable to obtain without this support.

  • An instructional scaffold essentially changes the role of the teacher from that of giver of knowledge to leader in inquiry. This relationship encourages creative intelligence on the part of both teacher and student, which in turn may broaden the notion of literacy so as to include more learning styles.

  • An instructional scaffold is useful for expository writing because of its basis in problem solving, ownership, appropriateness, support, collaboration, and internalization. It allows students to start where they are comfortable, and provides a genre-based structure for organizing creative ideas.


Biancarosa, G., and Snow, C. E. (2004.) Reading next-A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

  • In order for students to take ownership of knowledge, they must learn to rework raw information, use details and facts, and write.

  • Teaching writing should involve direct, explicit comprehension instruction, effective instructional principles embedded in content, motivation and self-directed learning, and text-based collaborative learning to improve middle school and high school literacy.

  • Expository writing, because its organizational structure is rooted in classical rhetoric, needs to be taught.

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A Research Paper Outline Template For High School Students

You learned all about outlines around the fourth or fifth grade. They taught you how to make them and what information went where. They also told you that before writing anything you should have an outline of it. Most people started to ignore that right away because they felt as if it was only making more work for themselves. In reality, if done correctly, an outline can be a great resource that actually saves time instead of wasting it.

When done the right way an outline can be like a guide for your writing that shows you every step of the way what to write about next. The trick is to put everything in the outline in the order in which it will appear in the paper. This allows you to move directly from one topic to the next all the while knowing what comes after that. It makes writing a lot easier and is a necessary part of the process. Here is a rough template for what an outline should look like and what information goes where using the standard 5 paragraph essay. You can adapt it to any kind of paper format though.


  • Here you want to start off by introducing your topic.
  • Give the reader a loose idea of what the paper will be about without giving too much away

Body Paragraph 1

  • This is where you introduce your first fact to support your topic
  • Give plenty of information to back up this fact
  • Make sure you have proven your point thoroughly

Body Paragraph 2

  • Now you will introduce the reader to your second fact to support your topic
  • Again you back this up with information from your research
  • Be certain that the point comes across clearly

Body Paragraph 3

  • You now introduce you last fact
  • You back up this fact with well-researched information as well
  • Ensur that you are being clear and understood as with every other paragraph


  • You want to reiterate your facts in a new way to remind the reader of what you are proving
  • Make sure that it is a clear ending that sums up the whole paper

This is the basic format of any outline. You want to use it well and include as many facts in it as you can because the paper will be exactly the same as the outline. What you put in the outline introduction is what goes into your paper’s intro as well. So make sure to be thorough and add as much information as possible.


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