Research Writing for Beginners


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Research Writing for Beginners – (A to Z for Research Papers) – SPRING


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Writing papers is an inevitable part of academia, and mastery of the form is critical for success regardless of intended field of study. It is not sufficient to be able to write a thesis statement and have strong topic sentences; students must also be able to use outside sources to develop ideas. Many students cringe when they hear the words “research paper,” but there is no need to fear!

In this introductory course, your student will practice and develop the skills necessary for conducting, managing, and presenting research. This course uses an incremental approach by beginning with guided research and gradually increasing skills and concepts to the final extended research paper. The teacher serves as a writing coach, guiding students every step of the way.

Skills learned in this class include choosing a topic, writing a thesis, conducting research through both primary and secondary sources, evaluating sources, using notecards, editing drafts, and compiling documentation. Students will also gain a solid understanding of plagiarism, including its ramifications and how to avoid it. Finally, they will learn to properly employ the most up-to-date MLA style, will practice APA style, and will have a brief introduction to Chicago style. Over the course of the semester, students will complete three different types of research papers (informative, persuasive, and comparative) and one annotated bibliography.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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MLA Handbook (9th edition) by The Modern Language Association (ISBN-13 : ‎978-1603293518)

Teacher will provide all other materials for this course from online sources such as OWL Purdue.

Dawn Burnette​ is truly excited to be part of the Excelsior family as an English teacher! Dawn holds a B.A. in English Education/Journalism from Lenoir-Rhyne University and an M.A. in English Education from Georgia State University. She has also earned National Board Certification and gifted endorsement. While teaching English at a public high school for 15 years, Dawn served as English department chair, coached a nationally ranked dance team, and won a few local, state, and national teaching awards. Dawn loves sharing her passion for reading and writing, and she works tirelessly to help students reach their academic potential and to glorify God in all pursuits. Soli Deo Gloria!

When it was time for their children to start school, Dawn and her husband Rod moved the family from an Atlanta suburb to the North Georgia mountains, acquired way too many animals, and spent the next 12 years homeschooling. Their daughter Ansley graduated from Samford University in 2022 and works at Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and their son Beck graduated from and played collegiate golf at Lee University and the University of Georgia and began playing professional golf in 2024.

Check our calendar for start dates

6 reviews for Research Writing for Beginners – (A to Z for Research Papers) – SPRING (4.83/5 stars)

  1. Vonnie

    Mrs. Burnette, was a wonderful teacher! She was quite knowledgeable about everything in the class and made it fun as well. All the material seemed to be paced well and was not too hard and not too easy. I would recommend this class to the student who just wants to get out there and write. Also going into APA in the class is a unique twist.

  2. Kristin

    I enjoyed learning from Mrs. Burnette she was a very knowledgeable teacher. We covered several topics and we even learned how to style our paper differently based on what we were working on. She is a very helpful teacher and will even schedule times to sit down one on one and chat if you’re feeling unsure about something. It is definetly a harder class but if you really focus its very helpful.

  3. Robin

    This class was very thorough in APA and MLA style. She went through and showed all the tips and tricks of APA, MLA, and a little bit of Chicago style all while teaching how to write a good research paper. She is a great teacher, advocate, and prayer warrior! Everything was well thought out, organized, and helpful. Anyone who takes her class loves her. This is the second class I’ve taken with her, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite part is how she always had extra credit opportunities, so in my opinion, there is no way anyone could have a bad grade!

  4. This class was extremely beneficial! I learned both MLA and APA style of writing. Mrs. Burnette is an amazing teacher, who makes sure you’re keeping up and fully understanding the material. I’d highly recommend this class.

  5. Tamie

    This class was very helpful! We wrote 3 papers and each paper had steps leading up to the final draft. The workload was manageable and even some weeks were easy. I’m a very busy student and when it came to this class, I was able to enjoy the class because I wasn’t having to worry about it being too much work. Mrs. Burnette was a wonderful teacher! She was very helpful and explained everything very well. I learned a lot it this class and it will definitely help me in the future.

  6. Erika G.

    Dawn was excellent at teaching the material and taking the students step by step through the coursework. The expectations were communicated well to both parents and students. My son was well prepared for college research assignments after taking this course. She got to know each of her students and connected with them on their level. I highly recommend this course and Dawn as a teacher.

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