Lesson Plan

How to Write a Thesis Paper in Middle School

All the Common Core Standards for Social Studies in one assignment
Michael G.
Classroom teacher
Bayshore Middle School
Leonardo, NJ
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My Grades 6, 8
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • Create an authentic, student-authored thesis paper on a student-generated choice topic
  • Conduct authentic research utilizing print and digital media
  • Evaluate the resources of data-based informational texts
  • Produce a finished thesis paper that aligned to the writing process
  • Assess the autheticity of information and cite evidence where necesasary
  • Create a bibliography to cite all research material
  • Edit and revise writing with teacher assistance 
  • Publish final draft to student ePortfolio
English Language Arts
forming arguments
reading comprehension
text analysis
using supporting evidence
writing clearly
Social Studies
Grades 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Topic Idea

Activity: Investigating

Have students develop a list of topic ideas that they would like to research and develop a thesis.

2 Organize

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

Google Drive
Free, Paid

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

Activity: Investigating

Tech suggestions:

  • ABC-Clio Database
  • EBSCO Host
  • CiceroSystems
  • Google Scholar

Non-tech Suggestions

  • Encyclopedias
  • Journals
  • Library Visits
  • Books on thesis topic

5 Collecting Evidence

Free, Paid

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

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Using Google Docs, students will write the rough draft of their thesis paper. Teachers can comment on paper and make suggestions for edits.

7 Publish!

Google Drive
Free, Paid

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.