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8th Grade World War II Research Project



World War II Research

Paper and Presentation (Pitch)


You work for a World War II museum that has room for several new exhibits about little-known aspects of the war. You need to find a compelling topic to propose or pitch to the museum directors and convince them that your topic deserves to be made into a permanent museum exhibit so that the “world does not forget its importance.”



You will write a 5-paragraph essay explaining why your topic is important and supporting your thesis with three clear reasons. You will also give a 2-3 minute presentation to the “museum director” and the class explaining why your exhibit deserves to be chosen. The presentation will include a slideshow made up only of 3 images (without words) to support your position.


Pre-Research Process

  • Get list of possible topics
  • Use Wikipedia or other web resources to get a basic overview of 3 topics of interest
  • Write down 3 choices on index card
  • Receive your topic
  • Remainder of class, continue to read about your topic….No notetaking today--just reading (or viewing) to get an overview


Research Process

  • 3 Databases
  • 3 Websites
  • 1 Book
  • You may fill in the last 2 sources with a video/book/website/database
  • You only need to use 4 sources in your paper, but you may use all 9 if you choose
  • To get only .edu/.org/.gov domains … type site:edu or site:org or site:gov
  • Citations
  • Cite all sources in Noodletools
  • MLA- Advanced- Printed bibliography page

Note Taking

  • Paraphrase all notes on butcher paper
  • Note interesting facts, questions, people, events


Writing Process

(I) Introduction paragraph (5-8 sentences)

  • Strong “hook” topic sentence (e.g. quote, question, etc.)
  • Supporting details
  • Provide important background information
  • Thesis statement (given to you) at end of paragraph (your main argument)


(II,III, IV) Three main paragraphs (arguments) that support Thesis Statement (7-9 sentences each)

  • Strong evidence to support each paragraph/argument
  • Quotes- only two quotes
  • Facts
  • Modern day connections?
  • Transitions between each paragraph/argument
  • Vary sentence beginnings


(V) Conclusion paragraph (5-8 sentences)

  • Pull all of the evidence together to “hit your thesis home”
  • End with a bang (not a whimper!)


Proofread For:

  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • MLA formatting
  • Flow of ideas and overall organization
  • Varied sentence beginnings and structures
  • Transitions between paragraphs
  • Strength of argument- Will your argument convince the Board?


Oral Presentation- “The Pitch”

  • Select 3 powerful images to tell the story of your exhibit.
  • Write engaging, interesting, and convincing text to support the 3 images.
  • Rehearse the “pitch” delivery- eye contact, body language, volume, engaging the audience, keeping up with time constraint, expression, etc.
  • Pitch lasts between 2 to 3 minutes



Research in class- Mon-Wed- 4/9-11

Type paper in class- Tues-Wed- 4/17-18





Important Docs

Updated Requirement

  • You need at least 9 sources. 
    • 3 websites
    • 3 database articles
    • At least 1 book
    • The other two can be any kind of reliable source (websites, videos, interviews, books). 
  • Create a NoodleTools project for your bibliography.