How to Write a Thesis Paper in Middle School
1 Topic Idea
Have students develop a list of topic ideas that they would like to research and develop a thesis.
Students will create a thesis folder where all research notes, hyperlinks, and articles can be placed. It will also serve as a place for the Thesis Paper Rough Drafts and Final Draft.
Set up the due dates with students and share out using Google Classroom or post on your teacher website.
3 Initial Research / Conferencing
Create a Sheet on Google Drive and input all your students. Keep track of their topics, changes, thesis statement, and benchmarks. You may also make any anecdotal notes to help your students. Share the form with the ELA teachers so that it supports cross curricualr learning.
Students should conduct initial research on their topic using print and digital resources. After a period of time, students will choose what to focus on in their topic and begin to develop a thesis statement.
4 Thesis Research
- ABC-Clio Database
- EBSCO Host
- Google Scholar
- Library Visits
- Books on thesis topic
5 Collecting Evidence
Students will input resources that they found and will use intheir thesis paper. The software constructs a Works Cited Page for the student in whatever format the teacher chooses (i.e. MLA, APA). Students can also upload their paper to the program to check for plagarism and grammar and spelling.
6 Rough Draft
Using Google Docs, students will write the rough draft of their thesis paper. Teachers can comment on paper and make suggestions for edits.
Final copy of the completed thesis paper can be shared to the teacher via Google Docs.
Student should publish finished work on an ePortfolio that can be created using Google Sites.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
(See note; not applicable as a separate requirement)