"Camden Catholic has taught us how to be successful scholars and responsible people- wherever we may find ourselves "

~ Erika Ward '14


Senior Research Project

The Senior Research Project (SRP) is a basic study of a focused topic. Its purpose is to provide seniors with an opportunity to engage in research according to their own curiosity stemming from their course of studies while in high school and investigate the career trajectory of this interest.  It requires that seniors demonstrate the ability to research a topic using multiple research tools such as:

  • the internet
  • online data bases, books
  • journal articles
  • periodicals
  • encyclopedias
  • service projects
  • work experience 

The results of the research are presented as a webpage that combines research skills, practical applications and technological skills. 

The Senior Research Project is worth 1 credit, and is averaged into each student’s grade point average. 

The website is to contain a combination of

  • text written by the student (2000-2500 words/approximately 8 pages)
  • links and commentary on primary sources and secondary sources
  • multi-media sections containing relevant audio or video files
  • pictures
  • diagrams or charts
  • a bibliography in MLA format

The combination of research tools and methods of presentation is the student’s choice. 

The topic of the project as well as the career trajectory is due on November 18, 2012

This topic is emailed to srp@camdencatholic.org and should contain the student’s name, English teacher and section number within the body of the email.  The student’s name should appear on the subject line.

The final edition of the project is due on February 13, 2013

All projects will be graded according to the guidelines detailed in this pamphlet, and will be recorded on an A-F scale. 

Failure to complete the Senior Research Project will result in the forfeiting of the Diploma.

The emphasis of the SRP is placed on the process of engaging in personal research and thoughtfully considering how such knowledge meaningfully applies to a modern career.   Special consideration is given to the depth of the student’s interaction  with the selected sources and a creative presentation of this process in a web-based format.



The Choice of Topic

The topic of the Senior Research Project is a particular area of study within a chosen field.  Topics should be of interest to you, but must also be linked directly to a subject studied at CCHS.  The topics should be able to be broken down into a focused research problem that can be successfully treated in the prescribed format.  While you are bound to discover a considerable amount of new information through your research, the choice of topic must explore an essential question or problem present in the information you uncover. 

Examples of research problems that are too broad, or do not lend themselves to projects of this nature are: What was the involvement of the United States in the Second World War? (history)  or, What is the structure of the solar system? (earth science)

Examples of research questions in similar fields that would be fruitful for the SRP are: What was the involvement of the Boeing Corporation in the European theater of operations during World War II?  or,  What were the reasons for declassifying Pluto as a planet in 2006?  Career explorations along the lines of thought opened by these topics might proceed along academic lines such as historical or scientific research; business opportunities such as specific careers in the marketing of aircraft or scientific research instruments; engineering fields dealing with aircraft design or astronomical exploration instruments, etc.  The career exploration cannot simply mention a casual interest or a list of possible jobs, but rather should reflect research into the career field uncovered by the research project.

The SRP may not be a purely informational, narrative essay. 

It is meant to allow for a critical consideration of an issue present within a topic’s information base.  It is suggested that you select a topic about which you truly care, and about which can engage in a meaningful conversation.  Students are advised to avoid topics that are too broad and are difficult to narrow down.

The topic chosen should:

  • be limited in scope
  • be sufficiently narrow to allow you to examine an issue or problem based upon the sources you select.  
  • present you with the opportunity to collect or generate information and/or data for close examination.  
  • move towards a conclusion based upon the writer’s evaluation of the research presented in the paper. 

In the process of research the student is asked to ponder how this information translates into a concrete career path involving a course of studies and a directed learning opportunity.

Successful topics/problems should be narrow enough to allow students to acquire and discuss some detailed knowledge of the issue in question.  A topic that requires no research, and lends itself to a purely descriptive approach is not suitable for a Senior Research Project.   Students should conduct some general reading in the area of most interest to them.

 


The Research Problem

When an appropriate topic has been chosen, students should narrow the focus of the investigation and formulate a specific research question.  The research question can be submitted via email to Ms. Perry for approval by November 18 to srp@camdencatholic.org.

 

Students are encouraged to formulate a challenging research problem but to ensure that it

can be explored in the length of the project, and that research in the chosen topic is available to the student.



The Research Process

All research should start with some general reading.  This approach should direct you to sites ending in .org, .edu, or .gov.  Use the Google Advance Search function to assist your initial research.   Sites ending in .com should be avoided unless the research project is specifically engaging a business topic or perspective.  This will assist students in deciding what topic and research question to pursue.

As the topic is narrowed through such reading, a bibliography should be developed using primary sources, secondary sources, and general informational sources. 

A general survey of related websites generated through a search engine is not advised.  Search engines are tools assisting in research they do not conduct the research for you. 

The Camden Catholic Library website contains several helpful tools to assist you in your efforts.  It is available through Edline or the CCHS Website.



Structure of the Project

In general the SRP should proceed along the following organizational plan:

Introductory Section:

The introduction should include:

  • An indication of why the topic chosen is important to consider or worthy of study.
  • Some background information and an attempt to place the topic in an appropriate context.
  • A clearly stated research question.
  • A clear concluding statement of the thesis and argument, i.e. the response to the research
Body/Development of the Project
  • The essential feature of this major section of the project is the organized development of an answer to the research question via a consideration and evaluation of the sources selected.
  • Some projects will use subsections with a variety of links in order to convey some of their information and analysis.  Others will not.  The major divisions of the outline should provide the logical flow of the project while the depth of the research should provide the written content of the project.
  • Much of this section will not be original writing, but rather, an explanation and demonstration of what your research has uncovered.  This section will contain many citations and links to your sources.  Any source used in any capacity must be cited with a parenthetical citation, and must appear in the bibliography.
Conclusion

The conclusion of the project should

  • be clearly stated
  • be a separate link or section of the webpage
  • flow from the research that has been presented in the developmental section of the project.
  • indicate what has been learned through the research process and what are the practical considerations that have emerged from the project.

Career Reflection

This section should apply the fruits of the student’s research to a practical course of studies and training resulting in a career.  It should examine different paths that the research opens and demonstrate an emerging familiarity with the many options present in contemporary society.  For example, a research paper examining current approaches to cardiac care may branch off into career explorations of medicine, nursing, artificial heart design, the “business’ of cardiac care, hospital administration, emergency medicine, etc.  The student need not commit to any field, but rather demonstrate an understanding of the necessary studies and training programs associated with the field.  This section should be no longer that 500 words and should be a separate link within the website.

Formal Presentation
  • The SRP should be written in a clear, correct and formal style.  
  • The original written portions should be 1500-2000 words.  The font and color schemes selected must be clearly readable.
  • It should have a home page containing the title of the paper and the student’s name and homeroom, English teacher and section number.
  • The sections of the paper should be clearly visible on the home page.
  • The font must be legible.
  • The Bibliography must be in correct MLA format.
  • All citations must be in correct MLA format.

 


Grading Criteria

  • The Senior Research Project will receive a “score card,” and will be graded according to the following listed below.
  • The total for all categories equals 100 points.  From the possible 100 points the standard Camden Catholic grading scale will be followed.  The final grade will appear on the Final Report Card.

Category I: Focus and Quality of Research and Analysis   (30 possible points)

Standard: This measures the extent to which the research presented is accurate, properly cross-referenced when appropriate, and is analyzed in an effort to deal with the research question in a meaningful manner.

Criteria                                                            Possible Points            Points Earned

The focus of the page and the information gathered reflect a high level of research, analysis and reflection.

         23-30      


The focus of the page and the information gathered reflect a good level of research, analysis and reflection.

         16-22


The focus of the page and the information gathered reflect an adequate level of  research, analysis and reflection..

         9-15


The focus of the page and the information gathered reflect an elementary level of  research, analysis and reflection.

         1-8


 

 

Category II: Clarity and Writing (30 possible points)

Standard: This measures the extent to which the project is presented in clear, grammatically correct English appropriate to the research conducted.

Criteria                                                             Possible Points   Points Earned

The page reflects a high degree of written sophistication and clearly presents all aspects of the research.

            30


The page reflects an average degree of written sophistication and presents most aspects of the research.

           20


Little attempt has been made to provide a clear and sophisticated presentation of the research.

            10


 Category III: Formal Presentation  (30 points possible)

Standard: This examines the layout of the web page, the length (word count), the presence of a home page, appropriate links, a correct bibliography, and the general use of citations.  Additional illustrations or other material are also considered when included  For example, the use of photos, maps, charts, etc.

Criteria                                              Possible Points                  Points Earned

The formal presentation of the project is excellent.

                  30


The formal presentation of the project is good.

                 22


The formal presentation of the project is adequate.

                 15


The project is too short, or too long, and/or the formal presentation of the project is poor.

                 10


Category IV: Career Presentation  (10 points possible)

Standard: This examines the extent to which the career focus of the project accurately presents the career avenues associated with the research question.

Criteria                                              Possible Points                  Points Earned

The presentation of the project is broadly conceived and focuses on specific career paths in their entirety.

                  10


The presentation of the project is broadly conceived but lacks focus on specific career paths in their entirety.

                 6


The presentation of the project is narrowly conceived and lacks focus on specific career paths in their entirety.

                 2





Important Dates to Remember

October – Initial Presentation of Project

This will be done through your English classes. 

Research and individual sessions in the library may be arranged with Ms. Perry.

(NOTE: Individualized assistance is available from Ms. Perry, but should be scheduled in advance and the appointment honored.)


November 18 – Research Topic/Question must be submitted

to Ms. Perry via email to srp@camdencatholic.org.

This deadline is required for all students.  This topic will be authorized via email and you are bound to write on this topic.


February 13– Final Edition of SRP submitted to Ms. Perry

Email the web address (the URL.) 

This deadline is required for all projects.

This deadline is required for bonus point consideration.

 
FAQ’s Regarding Grading
  1. All parts of the SRP are required to be submitted on the assigned dates.  Any parts submitted late will not receive credit.
  2. At the semester a comment regarding each student’s participation in the requirements of the project is issued on the Report Card.  Announcements regarding student resources are available through Edline.
  3. The only grade that appears on Report Cards or Transcripts is the Final Grade.
  4. If a student fails the project in February, the project evaluation will be returned to the student in question.  The student will be given two weeks to correct the items found to be deficient.  The maximum final grade for students in this situation will be a 70.

 

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