black cloud chalk doodle

Ready to snuff out




Let me guess.

Your students groan and roll their eyes every time they hear the words "research paper." Right?

Mine did too. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Imagine that in just

a few weeks . . .

Your students can't stop talking (and writing) about their research papers.

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Your grading time is cut to 30 seconds per student per day.

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Your students' papers look less like a hodge-podge of facts and more like organized arguments.

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Your students are actually using your feedback to improve their writing.

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You overhear students telling their friends, "This is weird. I've never had this much fun in school before."

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Hi! I´m Olivia!

And I love, love, LOVE teaching research essays.

Like I said earlier, it wasn't always this way.

I remember the days of drowning in essay-grading and banging my head against the wall as my students made the same old mistakes while writing about the same old topics.

But once I came up with my first true-crime research prompt?

Everything changed.

And now I can't wait to help YOU have the same essay-writing success in your ELA classroom.

Does this sound familiar?

Bored Student Fallen Asleep


Distracted Students

Tired mexican teacher massaging nose and eyes


Piles of Grading

Red Pen on English Grammar Text


Ignored Feedback

Your teaching is spot-on, but your students' attention spans just don't support heavy loads of research at one time.

You're starting to go cross-eyed from the hundreds of pages you have to grade. It's just too much!

No matter what you say about the rough draft, the same problems pop up again in the final version. Why don't they listen?


True Crime

Research Paper Bundle for Middle School

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These engaging essay packets walk your students through the research-paper process STEP BY STEP as they investigate true crimes from the safety of your classroom.

Detective Board with Crime Scene Photos and Red Threads, Closeup
Crime Scene Investigation

The Foundation-up Approach

Instead of starting with the introduction and stumbling through to the conclusion, your students will start with the most important building block of the research paper: the thesis statement.

From there, they will write ONE piece of the paper at a time, supporting each claim they make with solid, researched evidence.

What's included?

4 Engaging True Crime Essay Prompts

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Teacher Tips to Guide You Through the Process

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52 Student Handouts with Instructions and Examples

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4 Complete Sample Papers for Students to Reference

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Research Guides to Get Students Started

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Simple Yes/No Rubrics for Self-assessment and Easy Teacher Grading

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What are teachers saying about these research papers
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Group of colleagues from police working at crime scene


How long will it take for my students to write their rough drafts?

The first time you use one of my research-paper packets, it will take your students about 13 school days to write their rough drafts. The next time your students follow this format, they will likely be able to write their papers in 9 school days or fewer.

How scary are these prompts?

This bundle includes prompts that are not scary at all (like the Fyre Festival) and some that are more unnerving (like the Tylenol murders), but there are no guts or gore directly associated with any of the prompts included. Because there are multiple prompts in the bundle, you can differentiate for your students' needs and comfort levels.

Detective Board with Crime Scene Photos and Red Threads, Closeup


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4 Engaging True Crime Prompts

Teacher Tips

52 Student Handouts

4 Sample Research Papers

Research Guides

Yes/No Rubrics for Each Section of the Paper

(68 Pages Total!)

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Make research papers your students' favorite part of the year!

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