Which Side Will You Take? AP English III Research Papers

Students Defend Different Sides Of Controversial Topics That They Are Passionate About

There is an apparent hatred of research papers amongst most students. Researching assigned and typically uninteresting topics and then writing multiple pages proves unfavorable. What makes the process worse is having to dedicatedly check for formatting errors or double checking to ensure the works cited page is perfect to avoid losing points. Although this approach and reaction to research papers remains prevalent in high schools, Mrs. Hubbard’s AP English III students do not share this way of thinking toward their research papers.

Upper School AP English Teacher Mrs. Hubbard allows students to take creative liberties in their writing. From the very beginning, when she introduced the research paper, Mrs. Hubbard created an environment that encouraged students to explore topics that interest them. Students went through the process of having their topics approved, making their case as to why they chose their specific topic.

Junior Emma High said, “I chose to write about Genetic Engineering because I was super intrigued with the controversy because of all the different aspects considered when debating the bioethics of DNA manipulation. I am arguing that it should not be allowed.” Because students have different interests, the topics of the research papers vary. Junior Joanna Anil said, “I am writing about how education is the greatest human trafficking prevention tool. I chose to write on this because I have friends who are missionaries in South East Asia and they deal with this firsthand, so it interests me. I am so glad I was able to choose this topic.”

The research aspect of the paper proves to be the most hated among students. However, Mrs. Hubbard directed students to databases, like EBSCO and JStore, that made research easily accessible and enjoyable. Students could browse newspapers, articles, books, and even videos with a click of a button. After the research was gathered, it was time to write.

To increase productivity, Mrs. Hubbard had students do a Timed Writing over their topic. For 40 minutes, students put their ideas to paper. At minute 41, students already had a rough draft of their research paper ready to go. This undoubtedly eased students into the notorious research paper.

Students are finishing up their papers while scheduling writing conferences with Mrs. Hubbard outside of class. She releases time slots and allows students to select which slot works best for them. Here, she assists students with their writing and helps mitigate any anxieties about the paper.