The Collier Research Process is a guide to writing a research paper. It was developed by Collier Media Specialists to provide an easy-to-follow, teacher directed model to simplify the steps of research and writing. Not everyone will necessarily do each step or work in the same order. There are a variety of tools and methods included to provide different ways to accomplish the same task accommodating different ability levels and learning styles. Use the Collier Research Process as it works best for you.

This process can also be used for other inquiry-based projects where students produce PowerPoint presentations, newspapers, dramatizations, speeches, posters, brochures, videos and websites.

Your feedback is appreciated and will be incorporated into further updates.

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1-1 Understand research
1-2 Browse sources to get ideas
Research Topic Ideas
Research Topic Ideas Advanced
Collier Online Subscription List with Passwords
Springboard Topics - Middle School
Springboard Topics - High School
Sunshine State Standards
1-3 Select a topic
Example: Take a Stand on a Social Issue
Example: Analyze an Event in History
Example: Essential Questions

SIRS Planning Tool - Pick a Topic
SIRS Planning Tool - Develop Basic Knowledge
1-4 Narrow your topic
1-5 Develop a research question
Sample Question from Tom March
1-6 Identify keyword terms
Google Wonder Wheel


2-1 Explore the resources
Collier Online Subscription List with Passwords
2-2 Evaluate the resources
Infobits Toolbox: Judging Information
Gale Toolbox: How to Judge Information
UC Berkley: Evaluation
Web Pages
Did You Know? URL Extensions

2-3 Refine search strategies
2-4 Apply pre-reading techniques
SIRS: How to Write a Research Paper
2-5 Read for content, highlight and take notes
Electronic Note Cards
First Notes and In Your Own Words
Digital Notecards
SIRS Planning Tool - Select a Focus
2-6 Develop a thesis statement
SIRS Planning Tool - Write a Thesis Statement
Thesis Builder by
Indiana University - How to Write a Thesis Statement
2-7 Create an Annotated Bibliography
2-8 Understand plagiarism
2-9 Develop a Works Cited page
How to Create a Works Cited Page in Microsoft Word
Printable MLA Style Sheet

Printable MLA Parenthetical Citations
Citation Machine
Noodle Bib Express
Sirs Citation Guide

3-1 Identify the subtopics important to your subject
3-2 Choose the main points for each subtopic
3-3 Gather supporting information
SIRS Planning Tool - Supporting Evidence
3-4 Create an outline or graphic organizer
Sample Outline
Blank Outline
Inspiration Free Trial for use from home - at school use Inspriation on NAL
Inpiration Diagram Example
Inspiration Outline Example
3-5 Organize and save all information


4-1 Revisit you thesis statement
Thesis Builder by
4-2 Format the paper
How to Format Your Paper - MS Word
How to Format Your Works Cited Page- MS Word
MLA Formatting and File Guide - Perdue OWL
4-3 Write a draft of your research paper
Printable MLA Style Sheet
Printable MLA Parenthetical Citations
4-4 Revise, reorganize
6 Traits of Writing
Word Choice
Sentence Fluency
Ideas and Content

Edit for grammar and mechanics
6 Traits of Writing - Conventions

5-1 Review and evaluate your paper
Research Paper Checklist
SIRS Planning Tool - Apply Your Knowledge
5-2 Get a second opinion
Is it Interesting? Questions to Ask Yourself
5-3 Revise paper and print
5-4 Review and finalize the Works Cited page
How to Format Your Works Cited Page- MS Word
MLA Formatting Guide - Purdue OWL




6-1 Evaluate the Research Process
Research Process Rubric - Self Assessment
Pre/Post Test
Pre-Laureate 6 Point Rubric



Additional resources for teachers
Lesson Plans Extras  
Primary Source Lesson Plans from Library of Congress Pre/Post Test  

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1 Identify a topic | 2 Research information | 3 Organize information | 4 Write the paper
5 Finalize research paper | 6 Evaluate the process | Site Map