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Make the Most of Your Story with Research

Jennifer Ford of Gravette High School in Gravette, Ark.

Jennifer Ford
Gravette High School
Gravette, Ark.

Title: Make the Most of Your Story with Research.

Overview and Rationale

Demonstrating how research can enhance and illustrate a story and answer the question, “Why?”

Goals for Understanding

  • Essential Questions
    • Why is research essential?
    • Where can information be found?
    • How do you ask the right questions?


  • Copies of several different articles showing good examples of research
  • Basic questions to answered about each article (Handout #1)
  • Various research “scenarios” (Handout #2)
  • Questions to be answered about scenarios research (Handout #3)
  • A list of suggested research sources based on your school’s resources


Activity 1 (One 55-minute class) – Introduction to Research

  • Divide class into small groups to read and examine various news stories.
  • Each group answers questions about assigned article.
  • Groups share findings with class as part of discussion about the value of research in journalistic writing. (Resource #1)

Activity 2 (One 55-minute class) – Research practice

  • Each student (or small group of students) is given a “scenario” to explore.
  • Provide questions to prompt research for each scenario (#3)
  • Students brainstorm ideas for research and research-based secondary coverage, i.e. bio boxes, timelines, graphs and charts.


  • Scenario questions are answered by each student (even if a member of a group) illustrating the process of finding possible research ideas and sources. (25 pts)
  • Students conduct research individually and turn in information with attribution of sources and at least two ideas for secondary coverage. (100 pts)

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