Good Morning,


Does anyone know of any worthwhile alternatives to the research paper?  I am trying to find different ideas that can be used at the HS level that can be either an alternative or enhancement to the research paper where the students can present/display their ideas and promote higher level thinking. 

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Have you ever read Tom Romano's book about the Multi Genre Research Paper? Do a google search and let me know if that's what you are looking for!
Are you still looking for ideas? I want to an amazing conference last week and attended a fantastic seminar on research papers. Let me know.

Can you please share those ideas with me privately, or just post them here?


Hey Judi -

Sorry I took so long to get back to you!!

This link takes you right to the documents, but feel free to browse the entire site. I think it is wonderful!
There are now Action Research Activities where the students take a more active role in the research process by researching something that is "relevant" and will be useful for them and anyother teachers that may want to use the research to help them create a lesson plan. They make it "Actice" by using Questionnaires, and then using the statics derived from the questionnaire, to come up with quantitave and qualitative results and opinions.

There is also using an e-Portfolio activity instead of a research activity. With an e-Portfolio, the students will learn how to organize their work from each marking period. This allows them to use their higher order of thinking by having them plan, choose, and organize what they feel their best assignments are and both the student and the teacher get to see the students' growths at the end of each marking period; as well as from start to finish!
I've used a few things as alternative to traditional papers.
1) PowerPoint presentation
2) build a site such as a wiki (free at
3) it you're using Macs, Apples iWork suite is amazing. Pages, their word processing program, can export a document out as an ePub file, basically turning any document into an eBook. A traditional paper as an ebook is a cool idea, downloadable, sharable, etc. Keynote, Apple's presentation software, can export out as a quicktime movie, html site, or even an iPod playable file.

I love using iWork because I can turn a traditional paper or presentation into a wide variety of mediums for publishing and distributing.
You could do podcasting: get your students to write a sort of script of what they learned and record them reading it. This way, the students can get creative about how they want to present the information and it can easily be shared with the rest of the classroom. It also engages the students in collaboration and communication.
Or, you could allow the students to present their information on either a powerpoint, prezi, or even a wiki. That way, the research comes with visuals and a fun way of sharing the information. And with a wiki, other students can go in and make their own edits to other student's posts, thereby allowing a broadened scope of research.
I would think a blog for your high school students would be great. Students can post their findings on the research topic and their peers can give positive feedback or ask questions that the student can then do more research on! Having a blog for high school students can motivate them to write better when having a class room audience of their peers.
Typing a research paper can be tedious. I like the idea of creating a wiki. It is simple and the student can put his or her personality and imagination into the project. Of course, they still must do the research and keep from plagiarizing work, but it is not quite as restrictive as typing a paper in a word document. Plus, this can be done individually or as a group.
Having students creat a blog is another great way for them to show what they have learned and to share it with other students. In using a blog they can also continually update the information if you wanted to the project to go on for a long time.


hope that helps!



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