Research Papers For Fifth Graders


Think Tank is a great tool to use for generating ideas for topics of interest. Click on the image below to begin the interactive brainstorming tool:


Read and answer the following questions.  Your answers do not have to be in complete thoughts, so use bullet points for each idea.  The more you brainstorm, the more options you will have to choose from when selecting your topic for research.
  • What am I interested in?
  • What do I like to do for fun that might translate into an interesting paper topic?
  • What do I feel strongly about?
  • What do I know a lot about?
  • What would I like to know more about?
  • What are some issues or topics that are in the news right now that I find interesting and important?
  • What are some issues or topics at my school that I find interesting and important?
  • Can my friends or family members offer me suggestions for topics that I find interesting and important?
Pick the topic on your list that you find most interesting and important. Remember, it's much easier to write a paper that you find interesting than one you do not, so take the time to pick out a topic you truly care about. The topic can NOT be something that you already know a great deal about.  It defeats the purpose of needing to research to learn more about it.
My top three topics that I want to further explore through research are the following:
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After brainstorming and choosing your top 3 choices for a research topic, explore this link and choose three more possible choices that you would find interesting. Add the topics of choice to your list.
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The following are some research topics my 5th graders came up with:


5A Research Topics:
Why Lacrosse is a challenging sport
Why the Vietnam War was One of the Worst of All Time
How Nuclear Missiles Cause Devastation
Why Steve Nash is the Best NBA Player
How Pirates have evolved Over Time
How Aircraft Carriers Can Improve
Autistic Savants: Drawbacks and Advantages
Why Jamar Chaney is the Best Rookie Linebacker in the NFL
The Challenges of Conquering Mt. Everest
Why Gil Stovall is One of the Best Swimmers in America
The Reasons for Butterfly Migration
Why High Fructose Corn Syrup is Unhealthy
UFO's: Myth or Reality
Why Golf is One of the Most Challenging Sports
Why the Octopus is One of the Most Exotic Animals Ever
Why Football is the Best Sport to Play

5B Research Topics:
The Causes and Effects of Sun Exposure
Why Mt. Everest is the Hardest Mountain to Climb
The Causes and Effects of Arthritis
The Cruelty of Using Animals for Entertainment in the Circus
Why Black Hawk Down Went so Bad
Why Beagles are Unique Dogs
The Importance of Recycling
What Makes America's Armed Forces the Most Advanced in the World
Why Golf is the Best Sport Ever
Why the Swine Flu is such a Perilous Disease
Why the University of Alabama is the Best College
The Negative Effects of Cigarettes
Why Alcatraz is World Famous
The Reasons Why Pet Snakes Should be Prohibited

5C Research Topics:
The Devastating Effects of World War II
Why the Red Birds is the Best AAA Baseball Team
How the Zulu Tribe of Africa lives a Unique Life
The Effects of Steroids
How Shoes Affect Your Running Form
The Yeti: Myth or Reality
Why Nike is the Best Brand in the World
The Causes and Effects of Tornadoes in Tornado Alley
Why Al Capone is the Most Notorious Gangster of all time
Why Ole Miss is the Best College
Why 9/11 was the Most Tragic Attack on America
How the Traditions of the Masters Were Created
The Causes and Effects of Snake Venom
Why Hurricanes are the Most Devastating Natural Disasters
The Causes and Effects of Dreams
UFO's: Myth or Reality

5D Research Topics:
Why Football is the Best Sport of all Time
The Benefits of Boy Scouts
Why Exotic Cars are the Fastest Cars Ever Made
Why Nike is the Best Merchandising Brand
Why German Shephards ard the Best Breed of Dog
Why Football is the Best Sport
The Likes and Differences of Native American and American Lacrosse
Lochness Monster: Myth or Reality
Why It's Essential for Kids to Play Sports
How the Mayans Created Amazing Architecture
Why the Beatles Are the Best Rock Group of all Time
The Benefits of Modern Day Warfare
Why Basketball is the Best Sport of all Time
How Lacrosse is the Most Strategic Game Invented


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Scholastic’s “Research Papers: A Writing Workshop” offers students (grades 3–5) the opportunity to learn more about a topic that interests them by writing a research paper on it — and makes the task of writing the report less intimidating by dividing the process into easy steps. While the focus of the project is the creation of a research paper, the step-by-step instruction for completing the report focuses entirely on the writing process.

The steps include:

  • Mini-Lesson (1 day): Mini-lesson 1 helps students learn how to choose the best resources for their research. Min-lesson 2 teaches students how to name their sources at the end of their paper.
  • Prewriting (3–4 days): Students choose a topic to research, gather resources, take notes, and create an outline.
  • Drafting (2–3 days): Students review their notes and use their outline to create a rough draft of their report — organizing their work and getting their thoughts down on paper. Encourage them to focus on the content and allow their ideas to flow freely.
  • Revising (2–3 days): Students focus on the content of their report. (Remind them that revising doesn't involve making changes for spelling, grammar, or punctuation.)
  • Editing (1–2 days): Now, students focus on spelling, grammar, punctuation (including use of quotation marks), capitalization, and subject/verb agreement.
  • Reviewing (1–2 days): Students get a final look before taking their work public. They discuss how to conduct a review process, including: peer review, self assessment, and teacher conferencing.
  • Publishing (1–2 days): Students celebrate their accomplishments and post their work on Scholastic.com. Other ideas for publishing their research papers are shared.

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