Structuring Your Elementary School Research Papers

For elementary school students, the first research paper assignment may seem a bit overwhelming. It’s undoubtedly the longest assignment they’ve been given. In order to simplify the process and ensure that it goes smoothly, organize and properly structure the paper from the beginning.


The first step to structuring an elementary school research paper is to begin researching the topic. As you find information, put notes in different categories. For example, if you are researching your home state, make a category for history, one for facts like population, state size, etc., and another for state symbols, like the state bird, state flower, and so forth.

Create an Outline

The outline is a map of the finished paper. It will include an introduction, a paragraph for each category of your notes, and a conclusion. List the facts you’d like to include within each category. Decide which order you’d like the categories to be in.

Write the Body of the Paper

Write out the paragraphs for each category first. For each fact you include, be sure to make a note of which research source the note came from. Include interesting facts, important facts, and surprising facts so that your paper is informative as well as entertaining.

Write the Introduction and Conclusion

Now that the bulk of the paper is done, write the introduction. First, introduce your topic. Then, write a sentence about each category you included in the body of the paper. For the conclusion, you can go back and do the same.

Write the Bibliography

Once you’ve finished the rough draft of the paper, it’s time to write the bibliography. Include all of the sources you used in your research. List each one according to the format your teacher assigned.

Edit and Proofread

You’re almost done! Now, go back and read through your entire research paper. Rewrite sentences you don’t like, and make sure there are good transitions between each category.

Once you’re happy with how the paper looks, get a parent, friend, or sibling to read over it and look for spelling or grammar mistakes. Fix any mistakes they’ve found.

Create a Cover Sheet

Finally, create a cover sheet, with your name, the title of your paper, the date, and any other information your instructor requires. Bind your paper according to your teacher’s instructions (using a staple, a report cover, a folder, etc.) and turn it in.

Writing tips

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Helpful resources

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