Zeek, Sara. 2011. "Teaching the Research Paper through Inquiry-Based Instruction." Inquiry 16, no. 1: 75-85. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed August 29, 2016).
The freshman research paper can be a labor for both the teacher and the student with its many layers of skills and expectations. While academia has moved beyond note cards and simplified documentation models, students continue to get lost in the research process, often to the point that instructors may even wonder if they had been teaching in an alternate reality once they begin grading the finished products. As a dual enrollment instructor for Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) and Botetourt County Public Schools for the past eight years, the author has struggled to make the research process more appealing to her students so that their investment in their final papers is greater and yields more success. Typically educators see the research process as an individual and isolating experience where no one shares ideas or sources to avoid plagiarism. The truth is that students freely share ideas and sources and have become adept at hiding their collaboration from instructors. An interdisciplinary English composition/political science course used inquiry-based learning, technology, collaboration, and a real-world problem to engage students in a memorable project. The author reports that this approach reduces plagiarism, increases the students' research and writing skills as well as their interest, and decreases her workload.