The WHS Graduation Project is a multi-faceted approach to Modern Language Association (MLA) research that encompasses all four years of high school. In ninth grade, students learn basic MLA research skills and complete projects that put those skills to use. In tenth grade, those basic MLA research skills are honed and sophomore students write a short research paper (1-2 pages) to demonstrate their understanding of MLA formatting and documentation.
Eleventh grade students in applied and academic courses refine their research skills, write a longer paper (4-7 pages) in MLA style, and discuss their research in an oral presentation. Eleventh grade honors students write a number of research-based papers and present multiple oral reports throughout the course of the English 150 semester.
Twelfth grade students further refine their research skills during their final year of high school. Every twelfth grader is expected to successfully complete a formal MLA-formatted research paper and orally present a comprehensive overview of their research findings during the semester in which they are enrolled in senior English. Depending upon academic level, senior research papers may be 7 to 20 pages in length, and focus on topics of personal interest or areas of literary study. By the end high school, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in MLA formatting and documentation, oral presentation, and the research process itself.