Introduction to Research Writing

From: $85.00 / month for 3 months


Mondays at 3:00 p.m. EST

Summer 2 start date: July 6,  Fall: Aug 24,  Winter: Jan 4


Dr. Lauren Bailes

Summer II session may have two recorded classes due to instructor travel.

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Lauren Bailes


Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Lauren P. Bailes

High school students will learn how to write a research paper in this seven week minicourse. Research writing is an essential skill for college-bound students. They will use this skill throughout their academic career.

Think about a problem you’d like to solve: maybe you care about the environment, treatment of animals, school lunches, or dangerous traffic patterns in your hometown. Got it? That’s all you need to be a research writer. We do the rest together: name the problem, research the best solutions, and convince readers to agree with you. I’ll walk you through the various argument types, proper use of sources, and revisions that maximize the power of your voice. This seven-week course addresses all aspects of the writing process as it pertains to research writing: collection, selection, drafting, revising, editing, and presenting.

As a college professor, I see a major need for instruction in high-quality technical and research writing. So I decided to teach this class! I want to prepare high school students to write a strong research paper well before they get to college. That means I teach them how to select a problem or issue, make a claim about the nature of that problem, and research appropriate solutions. I want students to care about the topics they research. Research writing gets a bad reputation for being impersonal, but I think it’s the perfect place to grow your passions!

The research paper sometimes seems intimidating, but I break down all the steps so that even novice writers can successfully complete a research paper and attractive, informative research poster in just seven weeks. I have worked with students of all writing levels and so I’ve developed the tools that best need the needs of every student. I use templates, outlines, and a lot of personalized feedback to help your student complete this project.

Research papers are typically required in high school and university courses and are often represented in numerous content areas. This is a great place to get a jump start on the skills you’ll need to be successful in more advanced writing classes. Students can choose to write on topics of personal interest or use the paper in this course to meet requirements of other courses. Students will receive one round of individualized feedback prior to submitting a final paper as well as a grade and feedback on the final product. They will also practice presenting and discussing research in a digital academic conference on the last day of class.

Course Structure

Each week includes both reading and writing assignments designed to scaffold students toward a successful research project. We meet for live, one-hour classes each Monday although students are welcome to view the recordings if they cannot attend synchronously. Steps on the scaffold include idea generation, choosing an argument structure, APA and MLA citations, paper and poster drafts for feedback, and final submissions.

Who should enroll?

This class is for advanced 8th graders and anyone in high school who wants to learn more about writing research.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

I believe in ample, individualized feedback so that each student can successfully engage with the research process in a way that is exciting and intellectually satisfying. Research is, at its heart, about advocacy (selecting a question or problem important to the writer) and activism (suggesting a course of action that answers the question or solves the problem). Rubrics are available for each assignment that address the major components of quality nonfiction writing and the specifics associated with quality research writing. Students will receive feedback via Canvas and each student will have at least one session of one-on-one feedback time in advance of the final submission.


Parent support is essential to success in this class and I welcome any questions parents have throughout the class. Parents and families are welcome to contact me before registering at <email> </email> and new registrants will receive a welcome email with additional startup information.

View Course Syllabus

Required Texts

All texts provided by instructor via Canvas. Student must be able to open, read, and annotate PDFs and documents (.doc, .docx, .pdf).

5 reviews for Introduction to Research Writing

  1. Student

    The timing was perfect when you gave us the one on one class before the final research paper was due. That was great [-] continue to do that.

  2. Parent

    Excellent feedback and great instruction on the structure of the Research Paper. Feedback was constructive and appropriate. I appreciate you allowing them to choose a topic they enjoyed and then when Jacob got off track (started writing a more argumentative paper) you guided him gently back on. Thank you for your quick and concise responses.

  3. Parent

    Exposed my daughter to some different approaches to writing a research paper and gave her the experience of creating a poster.

  4. Parent

    Very thorough, great instruction and individual feedback. It exceeded my expectations.

  5. S. C.

    I enjoyed this class. Dr. Bailes is easy to talk to and really tries to get to know you. She provides good tips, feedback, and powerpoint slides. Taking this class was a good experience for preparing research papers for college, and I learned a lot.

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All classes taught by Lauren Bailes