How to do Research Paper for Both Career Exploration and ELA

Here’s how to do research paper for both Career Exploration and ELA. Let’s make the most of that annual research paper!

How to do Research Paper for Both Career Exploration and ELA

How to do Research Paper for Both Career Exploration and ELA

As you know, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. We at 7Sisters covered research papers each year of high school, as well as:

For our college-bound teens, each type of writing helped prepare them for classes at university. However, even our non-college bound teens experienced each of these writing styles, adapted for their needs and interests. Each our our teens (and the local teens we have advised over the decades) have benefitted from writing in a variety of ways.

Writing research papers can be useful and practical for teens. Some teens actually enjoy writing them. However, even those who do not get up in the morning asking to write a research paper have told us that the process has been good for them. This is especially true for building their ELA credits and Career Exploration credits.

Of course, research papers are part of each solid English/Language Arts credit.

It is good for teens to learn to dig for good information, digest it and communicate it through writing. Not only that, but it is good for teens to learn to share that information in different formats. For instance:

MLA research paper writing guide
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Chicago-Style Research Paper Writing Guide
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As part of the ELA credit, research paper writing helps build writing, thinking and time management skills such as:

  • Honing teen’s ability to recognize reliable and good sources of information
  • Strengthening their abilities avoid plagiarism
    • This, in particular, helps college-bound teens, who will write LOTS of papers then!
  • Learning to time-manage and project-manage using a syllabus and/or Scheduling Backwards
  • College Prep: Many of our local homeschool graduates tell us that their excellent training for research-paper writing (using 7Sisters’ Research Paper Writing Guides, of course) truly gave them the leg up in their college classes.

So you can see, writing research papers are good tools for a strong ELA credit (and some life skills).

Now How to do Research Paper for Career Exploration

Here’s a really useful, practical thing for homeschool high schoolers: When they write make their research paper topic about a possible career, they can log those hours for both ELA and their Career Exploration elective. That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling high school: teens can integrate subjects (where appropriate). Career Exploration and ELA are a good example.

We recommend the APA-Style Research Paper Writing Guide for this project. Teens will use the logging Carnegie credit method to explore a career or careers of interest.

APA style research paper
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Homeschool high schoolers can research an interesting career field by:

  • Exploring CareerOneStop is an excellent place to start for the following information.
    • Various types of specific jobs. For instance:
      • Teens interested in Psychology careers could look into counseling, social work, organizational psychology, policy work, missions, human development and more.
      • Those interested in Engineering could look up job descriptions for various engineering fields like: environmental engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, etc.
    • Levels of training and education needed
    • Salaries that could be expected
    • Occupational outlook (Will there be jobs in the field in five years?)
  • Interviews with people working in the field
  • Read books or articles about the field and/or biographies of people in the field

Papers from homeschool high schoolers that I have read include: professional dancer, personal trainer, athletic trainer, psychologist, cosmetician, auto mechanic, HVAC and plumbing training programs, and more.

All of that information can be distilled into an interesting and useful research paper. It might inspire a teen to choose that career…or decide away from it, which is just as useful!

BTW- for teens who have never written much and feel reluctant to start right away on a full research paper, here’s help:

We have a freebie that coaches a parent and teen together through a report-style paper. It is just fine for a novice paper writer.

research paper help for reluctant writers
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Check out and download 7Sisters’ user-friendly, step-by-step no-busywork research paper writing guides.

For more writing resources, check out these posts:

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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