Middle- and high-school teachers who assign students to write research papers can find themselves reading incoherent nonsense, literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo writes. In this article, she writes that the assignment of a research paper should be specific, focused and include an argument by the students. She explains the benefits of the Document-Based Question (DBQ) Approach, in which teachers give students a topic and a set number of relevant texts that students use to develop their arguments.

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