How to Start a Research Paper About a Career


You know those phone books the phone company keeps leaving in your mailbox, even though you never use them anymore? Well I have the perfect use for them! They’re full of career possibilities to help students start writing their research papers on careers!

Before my students start writing their research papers, I have them scan through the yellow pages of our local phone books. This is what I call the “Career Scavenger Hunt.” They have to write down at least one career (or business mentioned in the phone book) that starts with the letter A. then they have to copy down one that starts with B. Then C, etc… until they get to Z.

The objective here? It gets the students thinking about what kinds of jobs are available in your region. A lot of times kids go off to college with this grandiose idea that if they study archaeology, there will be thousands of archaeologist jobs waiting for them when they’ve got their degree in hand. And we all know, that’s not usually how it works. I only know of one archaeologist job in my area, and that guy won’t be retiring any time soon.

Now be warned… Parents get mad if you squash their little archaeologist’s dream, so don’t tell them they can’t become an archaeologist. However, this activity will at least give them a wider array of options for them to consider before they start writing their research papers on careers.

And here’s the handout in question… (Remember to show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, or pinning this handout.)

Image of Yellow Pages Career Scavenger Hunt Game for Research Papers on Career Topics

If you download and/or print this document, please like, tweet, or pin it!


The phone book is also a brilliant place to find character names and to brainstorm fictional names of towns, businesses, and companies. I use mine all the time!

And remember my name: Chelly Wood. In July of 2016 my first YA novel, Sunkissed Sodas, will be published by Reputation Books. You’ll want to make sure your school’s library has a copy. It’s all about a Latina teen who… well, just visit my YouTube channel to see my book trailer, if you’re interested.


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