Writing Resources


·                     Pre-Writing Power Point Notes


·                     Literature Analysis Format


·                     Writing Rubrics for All Composition


·                     MLA Works Cited Bibliography Format









Developed by Glen Dawursk, Jr.



Copyright 1986, 1999, 2004 by Glen E. Dawursk Jr.

Version 3.0 -- Updated 2/4/99 and 4/2/04 -- www.mrdclassroom.com
Originally written March 10, 1986.













English “Inter-departmental” Research Paper Guidelines


1.      All topic and thesis ideas must be approved by your English and the teacher of your other course BEFORE proceeding with the actual research paper.  If there is no research paper needed for another course, then the student will do a research report on a famous person. The acceptable topic and thesis will be corrected for an English grade only.  The famous person should be someone who has already died or has retired permanently from the activity for which they are famous.  The choice must be approved by the teachers involved BEFORE you continue.


2.      In addition to your paper, you must have a collection of at least TEN note cards with at least THREE different sources and at least THREE different quotes.


3.      Your paper must include the following:

·         A proper title page

·         A proper and complete phrase outline including thesis

·         A complete list of quotes or direct ideas used (endnotes) [NOTE: You must use at least ONE quote from one of your sources.  A bible passage is not counted as your ONLY quote.]

·         A complete list of sources used or consulted (bibliography) [NOTE: You must have at least THREE sources other than encyclopedias, Bible handbooks, and dictionaries.]

·         A THREE to FIVE page typed body of the paper. [NOTE: "body" does not include the title page, bibliography pages, etc.  The "body" is just the main content of your paper.]  Margins should be one inch all around and text should be12 point size font.


4.      Your paper must be in blue or black ink, written on only one side of each paper, double-spaced (only if typed), and must use white, standard-sized, straight-edged paper.


5.      If you ever have a question, do not hesitate, do not assume ---


6.      The paper must be a "professional job", with correct spelling, grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary.  Neatness counts on this paper!  You will receive a test grade in English for the First Version paper and the prescribed grade in the other course for the Revised Version paper.  Word processing is encouraged.  If this is for an English grade only, then BOTH papers will be turned into your English teacher.


Due Dates Check List:




Due Dates


Assignment Description


Due To:



Report Assigned

Other Course & English



Topic for paper due

Other Course



Topic & THREE sources due




"Prove Statement" due




Thesis Statement due

Other Course & English



Outline (Phrase type) due




Ten Note Cards due




First Version Paper due




Revised Version due

Other Course




Form & Work Schedule


1.      Think of a general topic.  At first, avoid making it too specific.  Look to see what books there are on the subject.  It is acceptable to change your topic now; however, it will become more difficult later.


2.      Narrow your topic into a more specific one.







General Topic –

  • Famous Historical Person
  • Famous 20th Century Leader
  • A North American Leader born after 1900
  • A US leader in office after 1940                 
  • A US President in office after 1940
  • A US President in office after 1940 who served during a war or conflict

Specific Topic –

  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower  (the thirty-fourth President of the United States – 1953 to1961)



While this example may not apply exactly to a research paper, it does demonstrate how to narrow a subject.




3.      Find at least ONE book and FOUR web sources on your topic, NOT INCLUDING encyclopedias or dictionaries.   These books CAN BE USED on the research paper; however, you must have at least FIVE that are not simply reference books. 


4.      You may use the Internet but it will only count as a source if the sight is considered reliable.  All on-line sources must be reputable and be authored by an individual with appropriate credentials for the information or knowledge being presented.  Use the Internet with care, as not every resource is factual or based upon credible research.


5.      Start to formulate a statement that you would like to "prove" in your paper.



Example Subject and Thesis Ideas:

Subject Area

Thesis (Prove Statement)

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin was a creative leader who inspired the early colonists to pursue their dream of freedom. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Through his peaceful approach on behalf of civil awareness and political change, Martin Luther King Jr. radically altered the way American’s view freedom of speech.

Babe Ruth

In a sport where fame is brief, the duration of Babe Ruth’s influence upon the sport is a tribute to his competitive nature, strong will, and tenacity through personal adversity.



These are just examples of how a subject can be expanded into a thesis.  Other English only subject areas include: past movie or television stars, international heroes, religious or spiritual leaders, and authors or playwrights.   The rule is that the person must be dead or be retired from what it was that made the individual famous.   Be creative, have fun and most of all, take your work seriously. 


6.      Take complete notes on all books, periodicals, Internet locations and reference materials that you read and keep them neatly on note cards.



        Here is an example of a typical note card:


Topic of material here                               Source material here
(author's name & page #)


         Put information, statistics or a quote you want to
        remember here.  If it is a quote, remember to put
        it into quotation marks.




Note that the source includes only the author's name and the page number from the book.  You must have a separate card for each book's information.  This card is called a SOURCE CARD.  All information on this card is written in proper bibliography form.








Where is your source from?


To see bibliography samples,

choose one:






(book, magazine, newspaper) 


(internet, computer database)











Here is proper bibliography format for a normal book:

Author's last name, First. The Book Title.

    City published: Publishing Company, Copyright year,

           Pages used.




Dawursk, Glen E. Jr. How To Write the World's Best

           Research Paper. Milwaukee: Mr. D Publishing

           Company, 2004, pp. 101-123.



In the example above, note the following:

·         Middle initials should be included whenever possible.

·         Always underline the complete title.  Only chapter titles, articles and online sub-titles should be in quotation marks.

·         Include the state or providence whenever the city is under a million population or is not well known nationally.

·         If you use the entire book, then omit the page listing and follow the copyright year with a period.




Specific Bibliography Examples:




Printed Resources


Author name. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date.


Dawursk, Glen. World’s Greatest Research Paper. Milwaukee: 

       Mr. D Publishing Co., 2004.


Authors names. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date.


Note here that only the first author's name is inverted; the rest in the list are in regular order.


Dawursk, Glen and David Dawursk. World’s Greatest Research

       Paper. Milwaukee: Mr. D Publishing, 2004.


Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date.


Encyclopedia of Research Writers. Milwaukee: Mr. D

         Publishing, 2004.


Authors name. Title of work. Title of Anthology. Editor of anthology. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. Page #.


Note that the title of the article is in quotation marks. If it were a play, it would be underlined.  Poems, articles and essays are always in quotation marks.


Dawursk, Glen. “World’s Greatest Research Paper.” Research

        Papers for the Beginner. Ed. David Stinkerollie. Chicago:
        D-Press, 2004. 96-99.


Authors name. "Title of article." Title of Newspaper. Date of Newspaper: Page #.


Newsee, Randall. "New Research Book Hits the Market.”

         Milwaukee Journal 10 Mar. 2004: E3


Authors name. "Title of article." Title of Magazine. Date of Magazine: Page #.


Always give the full date; however do not include issue and volume numbers.


Slick, Joey. "Research Papers Take on the World." Milwaukee

       Magazine 1 March 2004: 11-13.


Authors name. "Title of article." Title of Journal. Volume.Issue (Year of Journal): Page #.


Ucator, Edward. "Interdepartmental Research." Research Journal   

        Monthly 12.4 (2004): 17-20.


AN ARTICLE IN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL WITH CONTINUOUS PAGINATION (i.e. the numbers begin in one issue where a preceding issue left off):
Authors name. "Title of article." Title of Journal. Volume (Year of Journal): Page #.


Cher, T.E. "The Need for Improved Research Skills in High

        School." Education Journal Review 61 (2004): 621-23.


"Title of article." Title of Magazine. Date: Page #.


"Research Rallies Writers in Milwaukee." Newsweek 8 Feb.

        2004: 67.



Internet and Other Electronic Resources

For electronic references, use the normal book bibliography format then add the name of the computer service.  Underline it and follow with a period. Next, add the name of the sponsoring school, company or institution followed by the date you accessed the service and the site’s URL.

For most internet sites, the following is the layout: 



Last Name, First. “Article or web story title.”

         Website name day month year

         <http://www.The URL>.





Important format information for an internet layout:


This format requires a period after the author of the article, article title and URL only.  There is no period after the Website name or date.  The article title is in quotations, the website name is underlined and the URL is in brackets.  The first line is flush with the left margin.  The subsequent lines (2+) are indented five spaces from the left.


The author of a website is the person who wrote the article.  If this is not available, then the author will be the owner of the website.  This can usually be found under the “about, contact or copyright information” sections on the site.  If the author is still unknown, then simply skip the author and begin with the title of the article.


If no actual copyright or authorship date is available, then this is the date you retrieved it from the internet.





Authors name. “Title of article.” Title of magazine/journal. Date of article. <URL>.  


Note: This URL goes to the actual page and stays the
same each time you visit the site.


Dawursk, Glen. "Starting the Research Paper can be Fun." Educator Magazine. 9 December 2003 <http://www.educatormagonline.com/research.html>.



Authors name. “Title of article.” Title of magazine/journal. Date of article. Title of Database. Library location: Library name. Date of article. <URL>.  


Note: The URL listed is for the database’s main web page because the
URL for the document will change each time you visit the document. 


Dawursk, Glen. "Starting the Research Paper can be Fun." Educator Magazine 9 December 2003. Bulldog Database Search. Milwaukee: Concordia Library. 11 March 2004 <http://search.concordia.edu>.



Authors name. Home Page. Date seen. <URL>.  


Dawursk, Glen. Home Page. 18 June 2003. <http://www.yuthguy.com/glen.index>.



Title of site. Owner or source of site. Date seen. <URL>.


Youthguy Programs. U of Chicago. 10 May 2002.




Authors name. Title of book. Print published city: Print publisher’s name. Date print published. Online source title. Date seen online. <URL>.  


Dawursk. Glen E. Jr. How To Write the World's Research Paper. Milwaukee: Mr. D Publishing Company, 2004. Onlinelibrary.  12 April 2004 <http://www.onlinelibrary.com>.




Other Bibliography Formats:

·         Encyclopedia - Omit the author.  Start with the topic in quotes, followed by the name of the encyclopedia, year, volume number and pages used.

·         The Bible - It is not underlined or put into quotation marks.  If you are using data not in the actual Biblical text, then continue with the normal format.  If you are just using Biblical text, write: The Bible, followed by the specific version and a period.





7.      Review your note cards, source cards and head knowledge on your subject.  Evaluate your "prove statement" to see if you have enough resources to pursue your paper. 


If you do...

Then write your prove statement.  Make the statement more specific.  We will now call this statement the "THESIS" of your paper.  The thesis should sum up the main point of your paper using the research you have so far.  Your thesis will decide the direction of your paper.  Avoid making your thesis a question, phrase or word.  Make it somewhat open to argument or speculation.  PROVE YOUR THESIS!


If you don't...

Then either acquire additional research on your topic or go back to step number one and begin a new topic. 



8.      If your teacher approves your thesis, continue to search for information which will support your thesis statement.  Remember to keep specific quotes, facts or ideas on your note cards.


9.      When you have accumulated enough information, select the note cards you want to use on your paper and put the other ones aside.  Do not throw them away.  You never know, you may need them later.


10. Now arrange the note cards you want into a logical sequence.  Examples: chronological, comparison/contrast, order of importance, or size.


11. With your cards as a guide, write a preliminary phrase outline.  There are three types of outlines: word, phrase and sentence.  See your English teacher for specific examples of the others.  On the next page is the format for your phrase outline.



Text Box: TITLE
Purpose: This is your thesis (modified prove) statement

I.	First Main Topic
II.	Second Main Topic
A.	First Sub-Group of Second Main Topic
B.	Second Sub-Group of Second Main Topic
III.	Third Main Topic
A.	First Sub-Group of Third Main Topic
B.	Second Sub-Group of Third Main Topic
1.	First Detail for Second Sub-Group
2.	Second Detail for Second  Sub-group
C.	Third Sub-Group of Third Main Topic
IV.	Fourth Main Topic

Note the following about the above outline format:

·         All outline labels (I,II,A,B,1,2) are followed by a period and two spaces.

·         Sub-groups are indented five spaces and details are indented ten spaces.

·         If you have an "A" you must have a "B".  There must always be at least two items when using sub-groups or details. If you don not have two, then include the information in the previous main point or sub-group.

·         For more specific details, continue with the following labels:  (must follow in this order) small letters, numbers in parenthesis, small letters in parenthesis.



12. After your English teacher has approved your outline, you may then begin writing a rough draft of your paper.  Work on the main points first.  Support your points with sufficient evidence in the form of facts, examples and other research information.  Do not use contractions.  They are not used in formal papers.


13. After the "body" of your paper is finished, write the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.  Use the "keyhole" form that follows to structure your paper:
























Note the following about the keyhole layout:

·         Each main point has its own paragraph.

·         You usually state your thesis at the end of your conclusion statement.

·         In your conclusion, briefly review what evidence you have used to support your thesis.  End your paper with a "clincher" statement.  This is a catchy statement that emphasizes your topic or thesis.  It can be a cliche', slogan or pun.


15.  Now, review your rough draft to see if all your main ideas relate to each other.  Also, see if they relate to your thesis.  If they do not, you may have to rewrite the paragraphs so that they do.  Be sure that you have supported your main ideas with facts, examples and other research material.


16.  Next, proofread your rough draft, correct all spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Do not continue to the next step until all the corrections are made.


17.  With all your corrections in order, allow a friend to read your paper.  Tell your friend to be honest and evaluate it according to step number 15 and 16.  Make any corrections or changes after your friend has read it and then go to the next step.


18.  Now we are ready to rewrite your rough draft into your first version.  Remember, just as with a book's first edition, your paper's first version should be error free and in final format.  Write the main part of your paper first, making sure to document all facts, quotes and any specific ideas which are not your own. 



Honesty is the best and safest policy.  Remember that copying other's ideas and claiming they are yours is plagiarism and is not acceptable. Plagiarism will result in an “F” grade and possibly additional school or classroom discipline.


When documenting quotes, etc., one way is to put a raised number behind the quoted sentence.  Then number the next quote with the next number, and so forth.  This requires an Endnote Page.   This is no longer the standard format even though some colleges may still require it.



MLA format does not use a raised number or an “Endnote Page.”

This is the format we will require for this paper.

The older format is referenced here only for comparison or future requirements.  
MLA's Parenthetical Approach follows this section at #19.

REPEAT: We will be requiring the MLA Parenthetical
format for all quotes or ideas used in this paper.



Example of the "raised number" format:

Shakespeare demonstrates this idea in Hamlet's
speech, "To be or not to be."1


If you use this format, an endnote page is also required.  The endnote page is a list of all the sources for the quotes you numbered.  The format is different than the bibliography format.


  Traditional Endnote Format:

        #. Author's First and Last Name, The Title of the Book

            (City published, Publishing Company, copyright year), pages quoted.



          2. Glen E. Dawursk, Jr., How to Write the World's Best Research Paper
              (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. D Publishing Company, 1999), p. 123.



When you make the actual page, the heading should simply be NOTES.  There is a FIVE space indentation on the first line only.  Finally, there is no comma after the title.  Instead, the comma should follow the last parenthesis.


19.  The MLA's (Modern Language Association's) Parenthetical approach to documenting quotes or ideas is actually much easier to use than the "raised/endnote" method above.  After you use the quote or expressed idea in your text, you simply follow it with the author's last name and a page number within parenthesis.  The source information will be further explained on your bibliography page. 


MLA Parenthetical approach:


One Author:  (Dawursk 38)


Two to Three Authors: (Dawursk, Meater and Hartman 43)
Use the order of the names on the book here -- not alphabetical like in the bibliography page.


Four or More Authors: (Dawursk, et al 56)
et al is Latin for "and more."


Works By The Same Author: (Dawursk, World's Best  12)
The title or a shortened version of the title comes after the authors last name.  Note the comma between them.


Special Cases: If the two authors have the same last name, use a first name initial before the last name.  If the article or book has no author, simply begin with the title of the article in quotes or the book underlined followed by the page number.



20.  If the quote is four lines or less, a summary or a paraphrase then end the quote with an end quotation mark followed by a space, the parenthetical reference and a period.  For example: "To be or not to be that is the question" (Shakespeare, 21).

If the quote is longer than 4 lines, indent the entire quote ten spaces from the left margin.  You do not indent from the left.  End the quote or idea with a period followed by the parenthetical reference. 

For example: "Quote...Long Quote...Really Long Quote...Still More Quote...and even Some More Quote." (Shakespeare, 23)


21.  The Bibliography Page or the Works Consulted Page should be next.  This is a complete list of ALL the sources you consulted for the paper.  It is in alphabetical order according to the author's last name.  The form is outlined after step 5.

Things to remember:             

·         The heading is simply BIBLIOGRAPHY.

·         The actual bibliography is single spaced;
however, skip a line between each source.


21.  Now redo the outline.  The final phrase outline should follow the same form as your prior one.  In fact, you may not have to make too many changes.  It is just important that the final copy reflect all the points covered in your final paper.  The outline should be double spaced with an additional line skipped between each main topic (I., II., III., etc).


22.  The last page to write is the title page.  The title page should include the following:

·         Title of paper


·         Your name


·         Course title


·         Course period


·         Date due.


22.  Proofread your paper again.  Correct any additional mistakes.  You will be surprised at how many mistakes get missed the first time around.


23.  Finally say a prayer of thanksgiving for what you have learned and for giving you the ability to complete this project. You are now finished!  Congratulations.







Some Quotes about Being Lazy


¨     Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.  (Proverbs 10:4, 5)


¨     All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.  (Proverbs 14:23)


¨     The only thing wrong with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished. (Unknown)


¨     If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.  (Ecclesiastes 10:18)


¨     I used to never finish things, but now I   (Unknown)



















The Title of Your Paper Goes Here













Your Full Name Goes Here




Class Name Here

Grade 11

Date Due










Developed by Glen Dawursk, Jr.



Copyright 1986, 1999, 2004 by Glen E. Dawursk, Jr.

Version 3.0 -- Updated 2/4/99 and 4/2/04 --  www.mrdclassroom.com
Originally written March 10, 1986.