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Graduation Project Handbook - · GRADUATION PROJECT GENERAL REQUIREMENTS All Graduation Projects will have the following general requirements met. I. Topic Proposal

May 27, 2020




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    Graduation Project Handbook

    (Revised May 2010)

    Exeter Township Senior High School 201 E. 37th Street Reading, PA 19606



    Rationale 2

    Graduation Project General Requirements 2 Graduation Project Option Descriptions 3

    Pink Topic Proposal Form 4

    Guidelines for Good Notes 5

    Sample Note Card 5

    Library Information 5

    Guidelines for Works Consulted 6

    Sample Works Consulted Page 6

    MLA 2009 Works Consulted Formats 7

    Guidelines for Essay 9

    Sample of an Acceptable Essay 10

    Advice on Giving a Speech 12


    Preparing a Resume A

    Tips for Resume Writing A

    Sample Resume B

    Community Service Verification Form C

    Evaluation Worksheet D

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    To ensure all Exeter Township students successfully complete this graduation project requirement, the senior high school faculty, district administration, and district school board support the following project design. Successful completion of the Graduation Project will require persistence and time-management skills, as well as the abilities to make critical decisions, problem solve, and demonstrate expertise in a focused area of interest.


    All Graduation Projects will have the following general requirements met.

    I. Topic Proposal Form - must be completed and signed by Graduation Project Coordinator

    II. Project Option - select one

    1. Research

    2. Community Service

    3. Work Experience

    III. Essay - must be completed and turned in at time of visual presentation

    IV. Visual Presentation

    Remember! Regardless of your Graduation Project option, all students MUST complete at least 30 hours of community service.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education states the following requirements for graduation in Section 4.24 of Chapter 4 Academic Standards and Assessment: “…course completion and grades, completion of a culminating project and results of local assessments aligned with the academic standards….The purpose of the culminating project is to assure that students are able to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding.” Students cannot graduate without successful completion of this project.


    (- General requirements * Option specific requirements)

    1. Research Option: Students who choose to complete the research option for their Graduation Project must complete the following tasks:

    - Approved Topic Proposal Form

    - Essay

    * Research must be related to a career.

    * Works Consulted page (MLA format) listing a minimum of three sources only one of

    which is the internet.

    * 25 note cards

    - Personal Resume (see Appendix A)

    - Visual Presentation

    2. Community Service Option: Students who choose to complete the community service option for their Graduation Project must complete the following tasks:

    - Approved Topic Proposal Form

    - Essay

    * Minimum of 20 hours of approved and documented community service focused on a

    specific concentration (i.e. eldercare, animal rescue, emergency services)

    - Personal Resume (see Appendix A)

    - Visual Presentation

    3. Work Experience Option: Students who choose to complete the work experience option for their Graduation Project must complete the following tasks:

    - Approved Topic Proposal Form

    - Essay

    * Documented proof of valid work experience (your employer will be contacted to verify

    your employment).

    - Personal Resume (see Appendix A)

    - Visual Presentation


    Name ________________________________________ 1st period teacher _______________________________ Topic Request ____________________________________________ Which project option are you choosing? � Research � Community Service �Work Experience Why are you interested in this topic? Be as specific as possible. ___________________________ _______________________________ student’s signature date parent’s signature date

    If you have chosen the Work Experience option, please provide the following information. Place of employment: Supervisor’s name: Contact phone number:

    To be completed by the Graduation Project Coordinator only Topic Approved ______ ______

    initial date Topic Not Approved ______ ______ initial date

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    GUIDELINES FOR GOOD NOTES Your note cards give your evaluator a cursory glance at your research results. They also allow you to organize your information easily at a later date. • Take notes that look more like lists than paragraphs. Discrete pieces of information will be

    easier to find. • Space notes so that only related bits of information are on the same card. Notes on

    completely different topics should be written on separate note cards. Organizing notes this way helps with interpreting the information and selecting what is important and why.

    • Write down more than the main idea. Include enough details, facts, or examples so that you will later understand the material.

    • Use phrases and abbreviations. Try to compress the information, but be sure abbreviations are clear so you will later understand what you have written. • Be neat so that re-copying is not necessary. • Include on your note card the page number or numbers for all information – quoted or

    paraphrased – you have placed on the card. • Label each note card in the upper right hand corner with the number of the related source

    card that represents the source of the information. SAMPLE:

    1 (source)

    Proper archery stance: Feet shoulder-width apart Shoulders back Face target pg. 23

    LIBRARY INFORMATION • The Exeter Community Library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,

    Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Students who have internet capability and a library card from any Berks County library

    can use Power Library for free access to periodicals, newspapers, current and historical photographs, a constantly expanding menu of other features, and PA Access. A library will have to order materials from PA Access. The easiest method for finding Power Library is through Click on Power Library and follow the directions.

    • The senior high library site listed above also contains many valuable research links.


    The typed Works Consulted page lists all the sources you investigated for the Graduation Project. There is now a minimum of three sources only one of which may be the internet.

    • Double-spaced • 12 point font • Times New Roman • 1” to 1.5” margins • Heading in upper left corner stating your name, your advisor’s name, and the due date, each

    on its own respective line • Center the unadorned title Works Consulted. • Begin each entry flush with the left margin. If the entry runs more than one line, indent

    additional lines five spaces. • List each entry alphabetically by the author’s last name. If there is no author, use the first

    word of the title (disregard A, An, The). • Do not number your entries. • List all the sources investigated. SAMPLE:

    The next three pages list formats for the MLA Works Consulted page (also called Works Cited

    when used in a research paper) based on the MLA Handbook, 7th ed., 2009.

    Joseph Hunt Mr. Quigley February 15, 20XX

    Works Consulted

    Boyer, Peggy. Aim High with Archery. New York: Doubleday, 2010. Print. Stover, Robert, Jonathan Smith, and Madeline Beecher. “Interests in Archery Hit

    New Heights.” Time 25 April 2009: 14-20. Print.

    Wisyer, Juan. Personal Interview. 3 January 2010.

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    For a book by one author:

    Fairbanks, Carol. Prairie Women: Images in American and Canadian Fiction.

    New Haven: Yale UP, 1986. Print.

    For a book by two or more authors:

    Berry, Jason, Jonathan Foose, and Tad Jones. Up From the Cradle of Jazz:

    New Orleans Music Since World War II. Athens: U of Georgia P, 1986.


    For a book with no author’s name on the title page:

    Encyclopedia of Photography. New York: Crown, 1984. Print.

    For a work in an anthology:

    Rubenstein, Ayre. “Children with AIDS and the Public Risk.” AIDS: Facts and

    Issues. Ed. Victor Gong. New Brunswick: Rutgers, UP, 1986. 99-103.


    For an article in an encyclopedia:

    “China.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1993 ed. Print.

    For an article from a magazine:

    Prince, Dinah. “Marriage in the 80’s.” New Yorker 1 June 1987: 30-38. Print. For an article from a newspaper: Tucker, Cynthia. “Education Stays on Top of Southerners’ Agenda.” Atlanta

    Constitution 21 Mar. 1987: 19A. Print.


    WEB SOURCES An entry for a nonperiodical publication on the Web usually contains most of the following components, in sequence:

    1. Name of the author, compiler, director, editor, narrator, performer, or translator of the work

    2. Title of the work (italicized if the work is independent; in quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work)

    3. Title of the overall Web site (italicized), if distinct from item two 4. Version or edition used 5. Publisher or sponsor of the site; if nothing is available, use n.p. 6. Date of publication (day, month, and year, as available); if nothing is available, use n.d. 7. Medium of publication (Web) 8. Date of access (day, month, and year)

    Each item is followed by a period, except the publisher or sponsor, which is followed by a comma. If not otherwise recorded, include the editor or creator of the entire Web site following the title of the site. If any of this information is unavailable or you can’t find it, cite what is available. Evenly double space. “de Kooning, Willem.” Encylcopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

    2008. Web. 20 July 2007.

    Green, Joshua. “The Rove Presidency.” The Atlantic Monthly Group, Sept 2007.

    Web. 15 May 2008.

    “Hourly News Summary.” National Public Radio. Natl. Public Radio, 20 July 2007. Web. 20

    July 2007.

    Tyre, Peg. “Standardized Tests in College?” Newsweek. Newsweek, 16 Nov. 2007. Web.

    15 May 2008.


    Poussaint, Alvin F. Telephone Interview. 10 Dec. 1998.

    Asmundson, Mark. Personal Interview. 22 July 1999.


    Please refer to Appendix D: Evaluation Worksheet for a paragraph by paragraph explanation of the essay requirement.


    • Double-spaced • 12 point font • Times New Roman • 1” to 1.5” margins • Heading in upper left corner stating your name, your advisor’s name, and the due date, each

    on its own respective line • Center your unadorned, creative project title • All required information from the rough draft • Well-written, complete sentences organized logically into a minimum of five (5) paragraphs • Minimal (if any) “typos” and grammatical errors SAMPLE:

    Joseph Hunt Mr. Quigley February 15, 20XX

    Making the Grade

    Your introduction starts here.


    Allison Kemper Mrs. Gajewski February 15, 2011

    Care and Concern I chose to research the nursing profession. I chose this topic because I can start in this

    field with a limited education background, yet I have the option of furthering my career with

    additional training. Historically, nurses have played important roles as far back as Florence

    Nightingale in the Crimean War. Surprisingly, this occupation entails numerous responsibilities

    and experiences. With such a history and wealth of opportunities, nursing intrigues me.

    When I graduate from Exeter, I do not want to enter a four-year college. Instead, I will be

    able to complete my nursing training at Reading Hospital’s Nursing Program. Upon completion

    of that program, I can choose to attend Reading Area Community College or another four-year

    college for a Bachelor’s degree. If at that time I still want to continue my training, there are

    Master’s degrees available around the country. There are programs designed for registered

    nurses, practical nurses, and other specializations.

    Often times on the battlefield, soldiers were dying not of the wounds themselves but from

    infection and the unsanitary conditions that prevailed. Doctors were overworked and too few

    volunteered to help. While some helped by making bandages or sending supplies, Florence

    Nightingale went to the front lines herself. Through her efforts, conditions improved and a new

    line of service to mankind was inaugurated.

    I have learned many details of the nursing profession. Numerous responsibilities and

    duties allow you to expand your own talents. Patient care brings out your personality. Record

    keeping puts your organizational skills to work. Your decision-making capabilities are constantly

    tested as you work “on the floor” with other dedicated individuals. You are part of a team,

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    this fast-paced occupation.

    This experience has shown me that nursing is a career I would like to pursue because I

    can use many of my strengths. Anyone interested in this career should look into the demands and

    expectations before they commit to caring for others. I have been lucky in that I am now

    confident in my choice, but it could have gone in the opposite direction. I may have discovered I

    do not have what it takes to work with others and care for others all day long.


    VOCAL QUALITIES • Use enough volume so that everyone in the room can easily hear you. • Speak slowly and deliberately so that everyone in the room can understand you. • Speak with a strong tone so the audience knows you are confident in your research. • Practice feeling and energy so the oral presentation is not monotonous. EYE CONTACT • Find a few friendly faces and concentrate on telling them what you know. Look at a person

    who seems interested for a few seconds, then move on to someone else. • Know your speech well enough that you rarely need to look at your notes.

    POSTURE AND POISE • Stand up straight and confident. • Move as necessary, but do not sway or pace. • Gesture as necessary, but relax arms at your sides. • Practice in front of a mirror to check for distracting mannerisms. AUDIENCE INTERACTION • Talk to them, not to your notes. • Consider a strong, catchy opening. • Think about the audience’s ability to see your product or visual and what you are doing with

    it. • Use only your most interesting and important findings. • Incorporate anecdotes about your research process. • Dress appropriately. The first impression you make on your audience is through your

    clothing. CLARITY • Use pauses and silence, rather than “uh,” “umm,” “you know,” or “like.” • Pronounce your words clearly and correctly. • Avoid slang. • Watch your grammar. WHAT IF YOU’RE NERVOUS?! • Do some deep breathing exercises just before your speech. • Bring friends along for support. • Realize everyone in the audience wants you to succeed. • Remember you are the expert!

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    NAME: _____________________________________ GRADUATION YR. ________ ADVISOR: __________________________________ TOPIC: _____________________________________ PROJECT OPTIONS: (circle one) Research Community service Work experience TOPIC PROPOSAL FORM: (circle one) Yes No The presentation cannot continue without a signed Topic Proposal Form. ESSAY: 1ST PARAGRAPH; ( ) 1st sentence: What I did/do (research; community service; co-op; work experience) ( ) 2nd sentence: Why I chose topic ( ) 3rd sentence: History/background of topic ( ) 4th sentence: What I learned/points of interest/surprises ( ) 5th sentence: Summary sentence for this paragraph ( ) 2nd PARAGRAPH: Support sentence #2 of 1st paragraph w/ 4-5 sentences ( ) 3rd PARAGRAPH: Support sentence #3 of 1st paragraph w/ 4-5 sentences ( ) 4th PARAGRAPH: Support sentence #4 of 1st paragraph w/ 4-5 sentences ( ) 5th PARAGRAPH: Review of experience ( ) Explain how this information can be useful to me. ( ) Explain how this information can be useful to others. DOCUMENTATION OF RESOURCES: RESEARCH: ( ) Works Consulted page –MLA format ( ) Note cards – 25 ( ) Resume OR Community service/Co-op/Work experience ( ) Documented proof of experience (contract; evaluation; community service form) ( ) Name/address/function of work site ( ) Resume

  • VISUAL PRESENTATION: Create a Visual/Verbal demonstration using: Pictures; video; live examples; etc ( ) Location (place of work or place where research takes place). ( ) History of topic. ( ) What is done on Site or function of research? ( ) Why it is done/purpose? ( ) How topic relates to you? ( ) Do you see yourself continuing to use this information/experience in the future? Note: Evaluation is competency based. To complete the project you must receive a total of 20 (X)s. Evaluator’s signature:___________________________ Date:____________ Evaluator’s signature:___________________________ Date:____________


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