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The Library Research Curriculum

All students who attend Fair Lawn High School are taught the complete, basic research process in grade 9. Each student is required to prepare and write a research paper in English class before the end of the second marking period, and will usually be asked to complete a second paper in Social Studies later in the year. It is also common for students in ninth grade science classes to be asked to prepare a research-based computer presentation. These research projects go beyond the simple report. Each student must develop and answer a research question that requires the analysis and synthesis of information. Each project requires students to go through a series of steps

  • Using varied sources, including print, periodical articles, and the Internet

  • Evaluating web-based sources for research

  • Note-taking and outlining

  • Formulating a thesis statement

  • Preparing a rough draft

  • Using complete and correct documentation

  • Writing, formatting, and typing the final paper

The avoidance of plagiarism is heavily stressed in this project. Plagiarism is a serious offense which will result in loss of credit for the assignment in question.
During the remainder of their high school years, students build on this experience by completing many more research assignments, some as simple as locating information in an encyclopedia and some as complex as including original student research in the final project. Nearly every course in the high school uses the library and its information sources and services at some time.
The library curriculum at the high school is part of the K-12 program of library and information skills, and is consistent with the New Jersey State Standards for information literacy.