Models for great research papers for W2 courses
W2 courses at Hanover are designed to introduce students to research skills and writing within specific disciplines. Many faculty find it helpful to take a graduated approach to the research process. Below are two useful models to the Research Paper:
One method: Take a single, culminating research paper, including an annotated bibliography, and break it down into a series of steps that students complete, incrementally over the course of the entire semester. The final paper is due at the end of term. One benefit of this approach is that students learn to dig deeply into a single topic. Since the paper topic remains the same throughout the term, they can focus specifically on research techniques.
Lessons for the single-research paper approach might cover:
Annotating Sources for an annotated bibliography
Varying source use (starting with a single paragraph)
Quoting and Paraphrasing sources.
Another method: Assign a series of research papers of increasing length and complexity. The topic of each paper can change, but students are expected to tackle new research and writing challenges in each one. For example:
Paper 1: A four-page paper requiring three secondary sources and a reference source. The instructor provides two of these sources, and the student must locate the third. (This ensures that at least two of the sources are scholarly and substantive). Full bibliography required.
Paper 2: A five-six page paper requiring four secondary sources, plus a reference source. The instructor provides one source, and the student is required to find the other secondary sources. In or out of class, students annotate two of these sources. Full bibliography required.
Paper 3: A longer paper requiring five or more secondary sources, plus reference sources. The student is responsible for finding all of the sources. Full annotated bibliography required.