Research at SMHS

The information on this page is designed to help answer the essential question involved in research and writing: “How do students write convincingly about research findings?” The Research Paper Rubric identifies SMHS’s school-wide grading standards for research papers. The Rubric is based on the Primary Tasks of Research and Writing (abbreviated below), a list of school-wide, grade-by-grade expectations for research paper instruction and research paper completion. Both documents are supported by information elsewhere on this website, particularly on the Research Paper Steps page. The Research Paper Calendar lists the schedule of research assignments for the current school year.


  • Conducts preliminary investigation to broadly understand and select topic
  • Uses questions for investigation
  • Uses research tools (e.g. databases) for finding information sources
  • Uses appropriate search strategies and adjusts search strategies as necessary
  • Evaluates the appropriateness of information sources
  • Selects a balance of reliable information sources
  • Organizes Information
  • Creates works cited page
  • Utilizes a note-taking system which accurately attributes authorship and organizes information
  • Takes notes by determining important information
  • Draws conclusions to develop thesis of the paper
  • Determines the most effective sequencing of research findings
  • Writes an introductory paragraph that establishes the scope of the paper and conveys broad research findings
  • Writes supporting paragraphs based on focus question notes
  • Integrates quotations and specific research findings
  • Cites sources correctly using MLA format
  • Writes conclusion
  • Proofreads for spelling, grammar, formatting, writing style, and academic tone