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BHS_CAREER Research Essay: 1. Task Definition

Understand your Responsibilities


Ask, "What's the task?  What types of information do I need?"

Think about the final product you will need to create, and consider what special requirements you need to follow! 


English 11 Career Research Essay

Task Details for Your Project

English 11 Career Research Essay


You must complete the following:

Selection of a topic:  Choose a career in which you are interested, already started on the pathway, or curious about its past and future.

Use of a variety of credible source types: Please check our library for books, use periodicals and Blaine subscriber resources (like Elibrary, ERIC, Gale, Academic Search Premier, etc.,) and at least two credible Internet sources .  Each source must be correctly documented in APA format.

Completed Outline: It will be the essay in its most basic, yet organized, form.  Use it as a guide for writing your drafts.


Essay must be 1400-1950 words in length. Do not go under or over this limit:  You will need to keep track of your word total while writing.  Anything less than 1400 will likely be underdeveloped and/or missing parts as you will not have thoroughly explored your topic. Include word count as the TURNITIN TITLE on all your drafts. Your references page does NOT count towards total word count.  To find your word count in Google Docs, go to Tools ↪Word Count. – the word count (excluding title page and references) should be your submission title for all drafts.


Rough drafts and peer edits: You will be writing a rough draft (submitted to  All drafts will be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12, in proper APA format, including proper headings on each page. Purdue OWL is a fantastic resource for examples and guidelines. You will participate in a peer editing conference in class.  Once the peer editing is done, you should revise extensively. I expect significant changes and improvements between drafts. 


Final draft:  Your final draft will contain all components and show extensive revisions. This, too, will be submitted to


References page:  You will need to correctly cite all sources used within your essay.  You need to have a page entitled References, using correct APA format.  We will be going over this in class and I will provide you with examples. This page is the final one of the whole paper, but you will submit one every time you complete a section, adding references as you add sources to your sections throughout the process.


Paraphrasing, summarizing, or using direct quotes within the essay:  You will need to use examples from your sources within your research essay as support.  However, you cannot simply use direct quote after direct quote.  You will need to paraphrase and summarize parts of your information (all three types of notes require in-text citations).  We will also be going over this in class.


Third Person Point of View:  Most sections of this paper should avoid personal pronouns (I, me, my, we, our, etc.) until you discuss how you will impact the field (what you will bring, what you hope to accomplish, personality characteristics, etc).


You will need to complete the following within your essay:

Introduction (minimum 5-6 sentences)

Main idea:  This is the “big picture” topic of your essay.  It includes an attention getter and context for your reader to make sense of the ideas in your essay. It could include something about making important decisions in your life, how a career can affect your lifestyle and even your very identity.


Historical background information:  This will give the audience appropriate information about your subject.  Because of this information, the reader will have enough knowledge about your topic to understand any insight or relationship to other topics/events later on in the essay.  Assume you have an intelligent, but uninformed reader This must be one full paragraph minimum but may take more than one paragraph for an adequate job. Max of three paragraphs for the historical context.

Include the who, what, when, where, why this profession began, providing examples of what it looked like in its infancy.



Tasks and working conditions:

What is it like to actually BE in this career on a day-to-day basis? (1-3 paragraphs); this is when it would be great to include an interview with someone in the field.


Education/qualifications needed to enter and be successful in this career (between 2-4 paragraphs)


Employment outlook, salary, stats relevant to growth in this field


Current events surrounding the profession, including noted advances/accomplishments in recent years that have impacted the profession (not just an individual “star” in the field)


How you will impact this profession (the strengths you have academically, personally, or experience you have that will potentially impact the profession). This is where you will include, among other things, quotes from your Myers/Briggs personality results test, etc.


Conclusion (typically 4-5 sentences minimum)

Restatement of the thesis statement:  Do not use “In conclusion,” or “As you can see,” to begin your conclusion.  Those are basic transitions that are used to introduce essay techniques and organization when learning basic paper structure.  Restate your thesis in words other than those used in your introduction.  This paragraph serves as a reflection and reminder of what the reader should have learned.  Focus your restated thesis to reflect that idea.

Summary:  Summarize the essay’s main ideas in two to three sentences.  This is the part where you remind the reader of your support to prove your topic.

Final thought, idea, or lesson learned:  This is the final impression left on your audience.  How will they remember the importance of all of the hard work you have done?  Why do they think you have written this essay?  What has been learned? So what? Why is this significant? Why should we care? Convince us this topic is interesting without using the word interesting!


Writing good papers:

Transitions/Topic Sentences:  These sentences connect your paragraphs together smoothly.  You need to write one to two sentences that allow the ideas and paragraphs to flow, rather than abruptly stop and start. Try to avoid the “ka-chunk” feeling of tripping over a curb into the next paragraph.

Supporting details (in all paragraphs):  You should use more than one source to support your main ideas in your paragraphs.  You will need to synthesize your information and share what is learned from looking at more than one source on the topic.  You will need to draw conclusions from your research to form new ideas.                                                                                                                                                                  C

Citations:  You will need to correctly document, in APA format, any information that is not your own within the paragraph.  We will be going over this in class


11th Grade Common Performance Task: Research Paper

Tri B: Unit: Research



Choose a legitimate profession.  Trace the historical context of this profession and the intricacies involved in becoming part of it today.  1400 word minimum, not including title page or reference page.









Development of Thesis



Sophisticated development of a clear and supportable thesis



Proficient development of a clear and supportable thesis


Sufficient development of a clear and supportable thesis


Insufficient development of thesis; unclear or unsupportable




Sophisticated use of relevant details to support the thesis



Proficient use of relevant details to support the thesis


Sufficient use of relevant details to support the thesis


Insufficient and/or irrelevant details to support the thesis


In-Text Citations


Sophisticated use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources



Proficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources


Sufficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources


Insufficient use of APA format to incorporate in-text citation of sources


Use of outside information



Sophisticated integration of credible outside information


Proficient integration of credible outside information



Sufficient integration of outside information


Insufficient integration of outside information








 Sophisticated use of editing and standard grammatical conventions



Proficient use of editing and standard grammatical conventions


Sufficient use of editing and standard grammatical conventions


Editing and grammatical conventions detract from overall meaning