Ninth Grade Research Project (H) Romeo, Juliet and Functional mri’s Objective

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Ninth Grade Research Project (H)

Romeo, Juliet and Functional MRI’s
To analyze fiction for theme as well as characterization and synthesize research in support of a thesis.
Research Essential Question
To what degree is the behavior of modern teenagers a result of developmentally immature brains and how well does this relate to the behavior of teens in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?
Supporting Questions
All of the following questions must be addressed in some way in your paper:

  • What is the state of brain development as it pertains to adolescents?

  • How have ideas about adolescent behavior been impacted by modern research?

  • How has the information discovered about adolescent brain development impacted our society?

  • Is the behavior of characters in Romeo and Juliet consistent with modern day adolescent expectations?

  • If so, how can these behaviors be explained? If not, in what ways are they incorrect?

  • Is there evidence to support that characters are simply “victims” of their brains?

  • Are there programs (medical/therapeutic) in place today that would allow this story to have a happier ending? Explain.

In addition, you may want to address some of the following topics in your paper:

  • Laws being changed or reinterpreted due to recent findings in brain science.

  • Changes in how society looks at teens due to a more modern understanding of developmental psychology

  • Issues, such as school starting times and driving laws in which consideration is given to what we now know about teen brains.

  • The role that brain health in areas such as concussions are having in school sports.

  • Another issue you uncovered during research that we have spoken about and which I have approved.

Research Procedure:

  1. Establish preliminary focus of the paper: write short responses to 1st set of bullet points. Decide which, if any, issues from the second set of bullet points that you will address. Brainstorm connections to book and current research. (Continue this throughout your research)

2. Preliminary research:

READ, READ, READ. Keep an open mind. Learn some things. Allow your curiosity to shape the direction of your paper.

Our library is a great resource for your paper. You may connect to these from any computer in school or from home.

Gale: Literature Resources Center

Gale: Opposing Viewpoints


SIRS: Knowledge Source (including leading issues: Pro-Con)

Books (in school and local library)
3. Finalize the focus of the paper: settle on issues to be addressed.
4. Develop a working thesis and topic sentences for each section. Thesis: one-sentence answer to research

question. Topic Sentences: One-sentence responses to 1st set of bullet points and one for each issue from

second set.
5. Get working thesis and topic sentences approved.
6. Research at least eight sources (in addition to the play).

You will want to find the most up-to-date information on your topic. Information about adolescent brain research is increasing almost monthly. Keep this in mind as you gather your information and look for the most recent date.

You will need to use at least six sources in the final paper (plus the novel).

No more than two may be literary criticism of the novel.

It is highly recommended that you only use books and the library databases.

However, other sources may be used if approved by the teacher.
7. Photocopy, print, or save copies of all relevant source material. Noodletools can help in this immensely.
8. Record bibliographic information on index cards, word document, or NoodleTools for citations and works

cited page.

9. Record important quotes (with parenthetic citations) on index cards, Word document, or NoodleTools.
10. Compose an outline. Be sure to have several main points and supporting details.
11. Rough Copy

Give special attention to integration of research and transitions.

Word: Use Grammar and Style Check / Peer Review / Turnitin

Include all parenthetic citations and Works Cited page.

12. Final Draft

Include all parenthetic citations and Works Cited page.

Make final hard copy and Turnitin submission.

Format of Final Project:
Length: 5-7 pages (in addition to works cited) / double-spaced
Introduction (one paragraph):

  • Hook to grab reader's attention

  • General overview and significance of topic.

  • Thesis Statement (last sentence of paragraph): A sentence that summarizes what you believe based on your research. This is a kind of conclusion at the beginning. You will go on to explain and support this statement in the rest of the paper.

Body: (Cite all sources) (approx. 8-9 paragraphs)

  • Give thought to the order in which you present your information.

  • Use transitions.

  • Address any controversy surrounding the issues.

  • Refute counter-arguments to your position.

  • Integrate direct quotes (at least one from each source and four from the novel).

Introduce them. Explain them. Respond to them. Be extremely careful

if paraphrasing (see Reaction Paper handout and check with Turnitin).

Conclusion (1 paragraph):

  • Summarize the importance of the subject and your argument.

  • Leave the reader with a powerful statement that re-emphasizes your



Thesis and Section

Topic Sentences ________

6 Sample quotes from notes on Noodletools note cards ________

(from at least 4 sources)
Outline ________
Full Rough Draft

w/ Sample Paragraph

Marked (and Turnitin) ________
Final Draft

(Hard copy and Turnitin) ________

Please be advised:

The final Paper and all of the stages is worth 20% of the 2nd quarter grade.

No credit will be given for late stages.
No paper will be accepted without MLA parenthetical/in-text documentation,

a Works Cited page, and Turnitin submission.

See the Reaction Paper handout and NoodleTools.
Papers that contain plagiarism will receive a zero (see course outline). Many people attempt to summarize or paraphrase, but the result is often plagiarism (even if you include a citation).
15% will be deducted for each day late up to three days. After three days, the paper will not be accepted, and a zero will be recorded as the grade.

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