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BCPS Baltimore County Public Schools

Student Research and Writing to Source

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Writing to Source
Research and the Common Core State Standards
The Research Process
Online Research Models & Research Course

Avoiding Plagiarism
Using a Style Guide and Citing Sources
Writing a Research Paper
Additional Resources

Why teach students to do research and write evidence based texts?

Although evidence based research may not play a role in the future careers of all our students, the process of searching out quality resources, evaluating a source and giving credit to original authors establishes responsible research practices that can be applied throughout our students' lives. Students learn to evaluate their sources for reliability and applicabililty. They must synthesize multiple sources in order to come to a conclusion based on research. The must also give credit where credit is due. All of these tasks will benefit our students as they continue with their education and career.






Writing to Source

It is difficult, if not impossible, to talk about writing without talking about reading, too. The language arts are inseparable. All writers anticipate readers. All speakers anticipate listeners. One is pointless without the other.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) marry the language arts and integrate them into tasks that require students to write in response to a source following a close reading of the text. The oral languages of speaking and listening are the natural, developmental precursors of reading and writing. Performance tasks require close, repeated reading of a text in order to respond effectively by marshalling support and evidence from the text. Responses that rely solely on background knowledge or prior experience are not sufficient. Writing to source refers to text-based responses.

The authors of the Common Core Standards maintain that students must read complex texts that are worth reading and re-reading. Such texts require close reading and elicit evidence-based responses.

Common Core texts and tasks should be ‘bootstrapped’ together in such a way that they lead to an ever deeper understanding. Tasks or questions may require students to formulate an opinion or claim that they can substantiate with evidence from the text. Evidence from prior knowledge or background experience is not sufficient and will not supplant evidence marshaled from a sufficiently complex text.

Research and the Common Core State Standards

  • "Research—both short, focused projects (such as those commonly required in the workplace) and longer term in depth research —is emphasized throughout the standards but most prominently in the writing strand since a written analysis and presentation of findings is so often critical." -- CCSS Key Points in ELA
  • Research and media skills are blended into the Standards as a whole. To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today's curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section. -- CCSS for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, p.4

Research and Investigation Guide

The Research Process

High School Research Course

BCPS Online Research Models and High School Research Course

No plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism:

Using a Style Guide and Citing Sources:


Writing a Research Paper



Online Resources for Teachers and Students:

Audio & Video: