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Research and Communications (Brown and Lepp)

This guide is primarily for use by 8th grade research students but contains helpful information for all students.

Class Overview


The 8th Grade Research Course introduces students to information literacy skills needed to access, evaluate, synthesize, and produce multiple formats of information. Reflecting ISTE Standards, the course is designed help students become Knowledge Constructors who understand concepts of academic honesty, content curation, and effective communication.

Class Expectations and Grading


Class Rules and Expectations


1. Be respectful of each other and yourself. You will encounter people who have different thoughts and opinions on a wide variety of topics throughout your research and conversations in class.  My expectation is that you will treat differences of opinions with the same respect that you expect others to give you.

That also means that I expect you to be classroom appropriate and kind to one another. Negative comments or statements about a person or group of people’s identities will not be tolerated. If you are unsure if a comment or question is appropriate or not, please speak to me about it before saying it.

I also expect that this policy of respect applies to you and your own thoughts and ideas. Be willing to think about things differently and explore new topics. This is a class that should challenge you to think creatively.

2. Be an active participant. Please pay attention, raise your hand to ask questions, and actively participate in class activities. Research is sometimes tough, and I don’t expect you to know allthe answers. So, talk with me and each other so that you can learn the best.

3. No phones during class. I expect these to be powered off and in your backpack or locker throughout the entire block. You will not need to use your phone for any reason during this class.

4. Homework. My hope is that there is none. The only way that I will give you all homework is if we get distracted or off task and do not complete the topics or class assignments for each day. You will have ample time in class to complete daily activities and the annotated bibliography
research project. So, as long as everyone is doing what they are supposed to do, there shouldn’t be any homework for this class.


Grading Scale

Research Class Grade Breakdown

Annotated Bibliography—50% (500 points)
Activities—25% (250 points, 125.5 Q1)
Participation—25% (250 points, 125.5 Q1)


Your Assignment

Annotated Bibliography Assignment


Your final project for this course will have you develop an annotated bibliography exploring two sides of a topic of your choice. You will be expected to do research on your chosen topic, collect and read articles about that topic in their entirety, and write a summary for each annotated bibliography entry. You may not use direct quotes in your bibliography. Please note that you will not be writing a research essay but rather completing the research that would be required for such an essay.

Your annotated bibliography must consist of a total of 16 sources (8 reflecting each side of your chosen controversy). Each entry should be 5-6 complete sentences long and cited correctly using NoodleTools. Annotations will also be constructed in NoodleTools.

You will be required to cite at least two published journal articles (one on each side of your issue). Your other sources may be newspaper articles and other easily accessible websites using Google searches. You may not cite Wikipedia (or any “wiki” like pages), Reddit, any kind of social media, or a blog. If you are unsure about whether a source you’ve found is acceptable, ask Mr. Lepp before adding it to your bibliography.

Your topic must be controversial, easily researchable, and approved by Mr. Lepp before you start researching. Think big but not too big when choosing your topic. Some possible topicideas include: school start times, President Biden’s anti-poverty policies, United States efforts to address climate change, video games’ effects on the brain, raising the legal driving age, and
banning school uniforms.


You should do some research on your topic idea before submitting it to Mr. Lepp for approval. You want to make sure that your topic has plenty of articles before you get halfway through the project and realize that you can’t complete it. I will not approve topics that are not school appropriate.


The last two days of the semester will be spent delivering a 5-minute presentation on your annotated bibliography. You should develop a PowerPoint to show the class while you present your research. There will be time for questions as well.



10/18: Topic Selection and Approval
11/27: Annotated Bibliography Submission
12/4: PowerPoint Presentation Submission

If You Have a Question or Need Help

I am available through school email: