How to Start a Research Paper Part 4: Get your thoughts flowing with a flowchart!


Last week I gave you my generic spider web handout. It’s a great way to think-start your research paper.

Now I’m going to offer up the web’s big brother, the flowchart. It’s tricky to get middle schoolers to believe in pre-writing. Somehow they think it’s an unnecessary step. But by using a flowchart, some students start to connect with the idea of pre-writing for the first time, especially when (like this handout shows) you demonstrate that each rectangle in a flowchart represents a plan for a single paragraph.

Now when they start to write the essay, they’ll be able to use the flowchart to guide their paragraphs. They begin to see that pre-writing isn’t just another worksheet to fill out for your teacher; it’s actually a blueprint for the up-coming essay.

If you want to see all of my worksheets, activities, and graphic organizers in one big bundle, please visit my Pinterest page. My educational videos are also available on my YouTube channel. And here’s my flowchart handout. My only request? Please like it on Facebook, pin it to your Pinterest page, and/or tweet about it to help spread the word that these free handouts exist. Thanks!

Four rectangles connected by arrows: a generic flowchart graphic organizer

Please like, pin, or tweet about this free, printable flowchart, to show your appreciation!

Don’t forget 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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