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How to Write a Research Paper

Writing a research paper is a bit more difficult that a standard high school essay. You need to site sources, use academic data and show scientific examples. Before beginning, you’ll need guidelines for how to write a research paper.

Start the Research Process

Before you begin writing the research paper, you must do your research. It is important that you understand the subject matter, formulate the ideas of your paper, create your thesis statement and learn how to speak about your given topic in an authoritative manner. You’ll be looking through online databases, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, books, newspapers, government publications, reports, guides and scholarly resources. Take notes as you discover new information about your given topic. Also keep track of the references you use so you can build your bibliography later and cite your resources.

Develop Your Thesis Statement

When organizing your research paper, the thesis statement is where you explain to your readers what they can expect, present your claims, answer any questions that you were asked or explain your interpretation of the subject matter you’re researching. Therefore, the thesis statement must be strong and easy to understand. Your thesis statement must also be precise. It should answer the question you were assigned, and there should be an opportunity for your position to be opposed or disputed. The body of your manuscript should support your thesis, and it should be more than a generic fact.

Create an Outline

Many professors require outlines during the research paper writing process. You’ll find that they want outlines set up with a title page, abstract, introduction, research paper body and reference section. The title page is typically made up of the student’s name, the name of the college, the name of the class and the date of the paper. The abstract is a summary of the paper. An introduction typically consists of one or two pages and comments on the subject matter of the research paper. In the body of the research paper, you’ll be breaking it down into materials and methods, results and discussions. Your references are in your bibliography. Use a research paper example to help you with your outline if necessary.

Organize Your Notes

When writing your first draft, you’re going to have to work on organizing your notes first. During this process, you’ll be deciding which references you’ll be putting in your bibliography and which will work best as in-text citations. You’ll be working on this more as you develop your working drafts and look at more white paper examples to help guide you through the process.

Write Your Final Draft

After you’ve written a first and second draft and received corrections from your professor, it’s time to write your final copy. By now, you should have seen an example of a research paper layout and know how to put your paper together. You’ll have your title page, abstract, introduction, thesis statement, in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography complete. Be sure to check with your professor to ensure if you’re writing in APA style, or if you’re using another style guide.


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Step-by-Step Explanation of How to Write a Research Paper for Elementary Students

Related articles, what are the essential parts of a college essay, correct way to write an article title in a paper, lesson plans on pre-writing strategies.

A research paper at the elementary school level meets many of the writing standards of the National Council of Teachers of English. A research paper allows students to read both print and nonprint texts, fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. Students are also asked to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and appreciate resources. In the process of writing the paper itself, students utilize language structure and language conventions along with figurative language and media analysis skills. The goal of the research paper at the elementary level is to give students the opportunity to learn more about a topic that interests them through a step-by-step writing process.

Writing the Elementary School Research Paper

Create a list of several topics of interest for the paper. List subtopics for each of the topics. Choose the topic that has the most available resources and is most interesting.

Choose reference materials from source materials: magazines, encyclopedias, reference books, nonfiction books, newspaper articles and interviews. List these sources on a sheet of paper to use for the bibliography.

Evaluate the list of sources. Determine whether each source is relevant to the topic. Determine whether each source has been evaluated by another agency. Determine whether the author is credible.

Take notes from each resource on a separate sheet of paper or index cards. Use the notes to create an outline of information to share in the research paper. Include topics and ideas for each section of the research paper in the outline.

Highlight notes and sections of the outline that support the overall idea, or argument, of the research paper. Decide upon a good opening sentence or paragraph and concluding sentence or paragraph for the research paper. Write a draft including details, complete ideas and information for each point in the outline.

Edit the written draft. Check for correct capitalization, punctuation, spelling and complete sentences.

Organize the research paper to include a title page, written report and bibliography of sources used.

Based in Los Angeles, Jana Sosnowski holds Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology, She has spent the past 11 years in education, primarily in the secondary classroom teaching English and journalism. Sosnowski has also worked as a curriculum writer for a math remediation program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern California.

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This paper is in the following e-collection/theme issue:

Published on 19.5.2021 in Vol 23 , No 5 (2021) :May

Experiences and Attitudes of Elementary School Students and Their Parents Toward Online Learning in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Questionnaire Study

Authors of this article:

Author Orcid Image

Original Paper

1 Department of Psychiatry, Chaohu Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Chaohu, Hefei, China

2 School of Mental Health and Psychological Sciences, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

3 Department of Pediatrics, Fuyang People’s Hospital, Fuyang, China

4 Department of Psychiatry, The Third People’s Hospital of Fuyang, Fuyang, China

5 Department of Psychiatry, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Yiwu, China

*these authors contributed equally

Corresponding Author:

Xiaoqin Zhou, MD

Department of Psychiatry

Chaohu Hospital

Anhui Medical University

64 Chaohu Road

Chaohu, Hefei

Phone: 86 055182324014

Email: [email protected]

Background: Due to widespread SARS-CoV-2 infection, an emergency homeschooling plan was rigorously implemented throughout China.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the experiences and attitudes of elementary school students and their parents (two generations from the same family) toward online learning in China during the pandemic.

Methods: A 16-item questionnaire was distributed at the 10-day and 40-day marks after the start of the first online course to 867 parent-child pairs and 141 parent-child pairs, respectively. The questionnaire was comprised of questions pertaining to course and homework completeness, effectiveness, reliability, and abundance as well as the students’ enthusiasm for taking part in online classes and their satisfaction with the courses.

Results: Our findings indicate that 90.7% (786/867) of students exhibited high or moderate enthusiasm for participating in online classes. However, most students performed poorly in online learning classes and after-school homework. With regard to satisfaction, parents' and students' average scores were 7.35 and 7.25, respectively (10-point scoring system). During the second stage of this study, parents' positive evaluations for online learning declined, including those for the effectiveness and reliability of the courses. Furthermore, the proportion of students who completed the courses and homework on time decreased; this difference proved statistically significant ( P =.047). The parents’ and students’ overall satisfaction with online learning also declined during the second stage (parents: 7.21; students: 7.23); however, the difference in overall satisfaction between the two stages was not statistically significant (parents: P =.53; students: P =.60). Several of the parents (315/867, 36.2%) indicated that assisting with and supervising the students’ online learning resulted in increased stress. Further, 36% of parents expressed dissatisfaction with or provided suggestions for online learning; most parents and students hoped to return to face-to-face classes (parents: 823/867, 94.9%; students: 811/867, 93.5%). Finally, our results presented the following six main issues that parents were the most concerned about: (1) disappointment regarding timely interaction in courses; (2) apprehensiveness about students’ understanding of the course; (3) the increased burden of annoying adult responsibilities; (4) concern about children's eyesight; (5) the idea that teachers’ explanations were not detailed enough; and (6) concerns about the decline of students' interest in and attention toward online courses.

Conclusions: Online learning can prevent the spread of infectious diseases while still allowing elementary school students to attain knowledge. However, in our study, children’s completion of the courses and homework were not satisfactory. Furthermore, their parents often experienced stress and had many concerns and complaints. Measures such as increasing the interactivity of the courses and prohibiting teachers from assigning tasks to parents could improve the effectiveness of these courses and the mental health of parents and students.


Due to widespread SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Chinese government postponed the opening of schools after the Spring Festival to prevent further infections [ 1 ]. Face-to-face socializing was also prohibited. China’s Ministry of Education estimated that more than 270 million students were confined to their homes, including 17.67 million elementary school students [ 2 ].

The Ministry of Education stipulated that even though schools were closed, teaching must continue during the lockdown period [ 3 ]. Accordingly, online teaching has been rigorously implemented in China [ 4 ]. Since mid-February 2020, schools and teachers of all levels have made considerable efforts toward creating and delivering online courses via internet-based methods or television broadcasts [ 5 ]. Consequently, this has resulted in the largest online learning campaign in human history.

Previous research has shown that online education has great potential for addressing the availability and efficiency of education [ 6 , 7 ]. However, by itself, online education is not more effective than a classroom-based approach, and its effectiveness depends on how well instructional designs are integrated into effective learning principles [ 8 ]. Differences in content quality, interactivity, and platform availability may affect learning satisfaction [ 9 , 10 ], but it is not clear which aspects are the most important for online education in primary schools in China. Previous studies on problems related to online learning have focused primarily on college students [ 11 - 14 ]. However, few studies have focused on elementary school students’ experiences and satisfaction with online learning. Another limitation that has been mentioned in previous studies is that researchers only assess online learning satisfaction from students’ perspectives. However, parents’ opinions also influence students’ satisfaction with learning and can inspire students to learn [ 10 ]. This is worrisome, as several factors (concentration, self-discipline, and related factors) can result in a host of problems during online education [ 15 , 16 ].

This study aimed to investigate the experiences and attitudes of Chinese elementary school students and their parents toward online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, this study evaluated differences in parents’ satisfaction with online education between the 10-day and 40-day marks after the start of the first online course.

Ethical Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Chaohu Hospital of Anhui Medical University (approval number: 202001-kyxm-07). The enrolled participants received detailed explanations about this study and signed electronic informed consent forms (parents’ consent for students’ participation). All participants’ personal information was kept confidential, including their names and internet protocol addresses.

Survey Questionnaire

The survey questionnaire was designed to assess the online learning experiences and attitudes of Chinese elementary school students and their parents ( Multimedia Appendix 1 ) based on the concerns of parents of elementary school students and previous questionnaires [ 17 ]. Each questionnaire was completed by 1 student and 1 parent. In order to prevent selection bias from affecting the study outcomes, each parent was selected at random and chosen by their family. The questionnaire consisted of 16 items and focused primarily on obtaining basic information, including children’s grades and the equipment that was used during online classes. Thereafter, a broader selection of information was gathered, including participants’ levels of enthusiasm for online learning, the completion of online classes, the completion of assigned homework, the pressure on parents, and related factors. Items 1-12 were answered by parents and items 13-15 were answered by elementary school students. Item 16 was an open comment that was directed at parents; it was designed to obtain their opinions on online learning. To measure satisfaction, we used a 10-point scoring system (ranged from 1 to 10 with intervals of 1); 1 represented the lowest degree of satisfaction, and 10 represented the highest degree of satisfaction. The questionnaire was written in Chinese and was not translated into any other language. Primary education in China is compulsory for all children who reach a certain age (6-7 years). Primary school students are usually between the ages of 6 and 13 and are in grades 1-6. With regard to our questionnaire, primary school students only had to answer three simple questions, which they understood and correctly answered.

We pretested the questionnaire with 5 parent-child pairs of primary school students (not part of the research team) and 7 psychologists. They pretested the questionnaire to determine the feasibility and understanding of the questions and words and to provide feedback. The content validity of the final version of the questionnaire was 0.86. The Cronbach α of the questionnaire was .73, which was within the appropriate, acceptable Cronbach α range (.70-.95) [ 18 , 19 ]. On the basis of the Kendall sample size calculation method [ 20 ], the minimum sample size had to be 10 times the number of items in the questionnaire plus 20% of the number of invalid questionnaires. Therefore, since the scale was composed of 16 items, the minimum sample size of this study had to be 192. Our study obtained 1008 valid questionnaires and therefore met the sample size requirements.

Survey Protocol

The questionnaire was produced and distributed by the authors. The relevant data were subsequently collected with the web-based survey tool Questionnaire Star (Ranxing Information Technology Company, Limited), a professional, web-based survey evaluation platform [ 21 ]. Questionnaire Star can be used to design questionnaires, collect data, create custom reports, and analyze results. We sent a questionnaire link to potential participants via WeChat (TenCent Holdings Limited), which is the most widely used social media platform in China.

Eligible participants included any Chinese elementary school students who participated in online education during the COVID-19 pandemic and their parents. The questionnaire survey was conducted during two separate phases in this study. A 16-item questionnaire was distributed at the 10-day and 40-day mark after the first online course. In the first phase, the questionnaire was sent to 867 parent-child pairs (867 elementary students and their parents). In the second phase, the questionnaire was sent to 141 parent-child pairs.

Statistical Analysis

Participants’ responses were proportionally expressed and recorded with a Likert scale that was divided into “good,” “average,” and “poor” responses or “yes” and “no” responses. Continuous variables (ie, satisfaction scores) were compared with the Student t test. Categorical variables were compared with either chi-square tests or Fisher exact tests. Data were analyzed using PASW (Predictive Analytics SoftWare) Statistics 20 (IBM Corporation). P values of <.05 were considered statistically significant.

Data Availability

All the data that support our findings are presented in the manuscript. The data sets used and analyzed during this study can be made available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Factors Affecting Students’ and Parents’ Perceptions of Online Learning

The total number of participants included 867 parent-child pairs (1 parent for each child)—867 elementary school children and 867 respective parents—during the first stage of this study. During the second stage (30 days after the first interview), only 141 parent-child pairs (1 parent for each child) were included in this study. The majority of students (304/867, 35.1%) were grade 4 students ( Table 1 ).

With regard to the equipment used in online classes, lower-grade students were more likely to choose a television. However, grade 6 students’ following equipment choices exhibited relatively similar ratios: mobile phone (8/31, 25.8%), tablet (7/31, 22.6%), PC (8/31, 25.8%), and television (8/31, 25.8%; Table 1 ).

Table 1 shows the enthusiasm of primary school students in grades 1-6 who participated in online learning courses. The results revealed that most students (24/31, 37.4%) had enthusiasm for engaging in online learning courses. Surprisingly, 22.6% (7/31) of grade 6 students were not enthusiastic about taking online learning courses. This was statistically significant when compared to the enthusiasm of students in other grades ( P =.006; Table 1 ).

With regard to completeness, two subitems were developed and pertained to online learning courses and the accompanying homework. Surprisingly, many of the students did not do well in the online classes or the after-class homework ( Table 1 ). Notably, the degree to which online classes were completed was higher in both grade 1 (23/46, 50%) and grade 6 (13/31, 41.9%) than those in other grades; the difference proved statistically significant ( P =.047; Table 1 ). Grade 6 students completed the largest amount of homework, while nearly half of the overall students performed well (15/31, 48.4%) ( Table 1 ).

In this study, we designed the following three subcategories of evaluation through which the parents of elementary school students could evaluate the quality of online courses: effectiveness, reliability, and abundance. The results show that the majority of elementary school students’ parents indicated that the reliability (649/867, 74.9%), effectiveness (334/867, 38.5%), and abundance (564/867, 65.1%) of online courses were good. However, the parents’ views were inconsistent among the different grades. As such, more than 10% of grades 1 and 6 students rated the effectiveness of online classes as poor (5/46, 10.9%; 5/31, 16.1%). Furthermore, 16.1% (5/31) of the parents of grade 6 elementary students believed that the abundance of online courses was insufficient.

Parents’ Perceived Pressure From and Satisfaction With Online Learning

This study assessed the pressures that parents had to deal with during their children’s online education. This study also measured parents’ satisfaction with online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak ( Table 2 ).

As indicated in Table 2 , the parents of lower-grade students were under higher levels of pressure than parents of higher-grade students. The parents of grade 1 students (high pressure: 21/46, 45.7%) were generally the most stressed about their children's online lessons ( Table 2 ).

With regard to satisfaction, most of the parents (675/867, 77.9%) were satisfied with the online learning courses; they scored above 6 points on the satisfaction scale (10-point scoring system; Table 2 ). In accordance with their parents, most of the students (641/867, 73.9%) were satisfied with their online learning courses; they also scored above 6 points on the satisfaction scale. Grade 6 students and their parents were the least satisfied with online learning, followed by grade 1 students and their parents. Interestingly, although the difference was not statistically significant ( P =.053), grade 6 students reported higher satisfaction scores than their parents.

The results indicated that most of the parents (823/867, 94.9%) and students (811/867, 93.5%) hoped to return to face-to-face learning in their future studies ( Table 2 ). Interestingly, 16.1% (5/31) of grade 6 students wanted to continue attending online classes in the future.

The Attitudes of Elementary School Students and Their Parents During the Follow-up

This study was divided into two stages. The first stage of the investigation commenced 10 days after the online course began, while the second stage started 40 days after the course began. There were no significant differences in the elementary students’ and parents’ equipment use ( P =.35), enthusiasm ( P =.73), stress ( P =.96), or satisfaction (students: P =.60; parents: P =.53) between the two phases.

With regard to completeness, fewer students completed their courses (11/141, 7.8%) and after-class homework (11/141, 7.8%) during the second stage compared to those in the first stage (completed course: 238/867, 27.5%; completed homework: 228/867, 26.3%). This difference proved statistically significant (completed course: P <.001; completed homework: P <.001; Table 3 ). Furthermore, the parents indicated that the quality of the online courses in the second stage (effectiveness: 130/141, 92.2%; reliability: 133/141, 94.3%) was lower than that in the first stage (effectiveness: 807/867, 93.1%; reliability: 838/867, 96.7%). The difference in the number of participants who believed that courses were reliable proved statistically significant ( P =.01; Table 3 ).

Parents’ and students' satisfaction levels for the online courses decreased during the second stage (parents’ satisfaction: mean 7.21, SD 2.41; students’ satisfaction: mean 7.13, SD 2.45) when compared to those in the first stage’s survey (parents’ satisfaction: mean 7.35, SD 2.35; students’ satisfaction: mean 7.25, SD 2.43); however, the difference between the two stages was not statistically significant (parents’ satisfaction: P =.53; students’ satisfaction: P =.60; Table 3 ).

Parents’ Open Comments Concerning Elementary School Students’ Online Education

In the open comments, participants (parents) indicated that online classes effectively used their time and network so that classes were not suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of deficiency, parents mentioned the following six main issues: (1) disappointment regarding timely interaction in online courses; (2) worry about students not understanding the course; (3) the increased burden of annoying adult responsibilities; (4) concern regarding children's eyesight; (5) concern that teachers’ explanations were not detailed enough; and (6) concern about the decline of students' interest and attention toward online courses. We summarize the details in Textbox 1 .

Summary of parents’ open comments. In total, 73% (736/1008) of parents answered the open questions.

Top question

Second highest ranked question

Third highest ranked question

Fourth highest ranked question

Fifth highest ranked question

Sixth highest ranked question

Principal Findings

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed many aspects of our lives. Furthermore, social distancing and restrictive movement policies have markedly derailed traditional educational practices [ 22 - 24 ]. Consequently, there is a pressing need to innovate and implement alternative education and assessment strategies [ 25 , 26 ]. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for the greater implementation of digital learning in elementary education that requires students to stay at home [ 27 ]. The convenience and flexibility provided by online classes seem to contribute to these classes’ proliferation and popularity [ 28 ].

Although previous studies have asserted that learners gain slightly less knowledge in online environments [ 29 - 31 ], our survey results (in the study’s first phase) showed that 93.1% (807/867) of parents believed that the online courses were effective and were able to convey knowledge. Conversely, a study from Ghana found that only 40 (18.7%) of their respondents agreed that they were able to learn effectively at home, while 174 (81.3%) respondents disagreed with that statement [ 32 ]. These differences may be related to the different preparation times, study content, and equipment in online courses among different countries. There is an abundance of content for online learning courses in China, as the educational content of online courses was prepared early after the onset of the pandemic. Furthermore, the courses were designed so that students could use a variety of devices to participate, including students from families that do not have internet connections; they can still access the courses through their televisions. These measures have considerably increased the effectiveness of online learning in China. However, it is worth noting that during the second survey stage, the proportion of respondents who thought that online courses were effective decreased. This may have been due to long online lessons, which make it difficult for children to concentrate, thereby reducing their productivity. The number of participants in the second stage only consisted of about one-quarter (141/867, 16.3%) of the participants in the first stage. The reason for this may have been that parents’ enthusiasm for the web-based survey declined during the second stage.

Satisfaction is a vital factor for determining the quality of online learning [ 33 - 35 ], as it reflects students’ pleasure and fulfillment with the different aspects of learning services [ 36 ]. This study indicated that most parents (675/867, 77.9%) were satisfied with the online learning courses; they scored above 6 points on the satisfaction scale. In accordance with their parents, most students (641/867, 73.9%) were satisfied with the online learning courses; they also scored above 6 points on the satisfaction scale. Parents’ and students’ satisfaction with the online courses decreased during the second stage; however, this did not prove to be statistically significant (parents’ satisfaction: P =.53; students’ satisfaction: P =.60).

Grade 6 students and their parents were found to be the least satisfied with online learning, followed by grade 1 students and their parents. These participants felt that the courses were ineffective and unreliable and that the content was not abundant. Therefore, for primary school students and parents, curriculum quality was closely related to satisfaction. It is important to consider that grade 6 learners are under pressure due to the junior high school entrance examinations. This is notable because online classes only teach basic knowledge and do not allow for the conduction of extracurricular classes to improve exam scores. Grade 1 students experience cognitive pressure because of their recent transition to primary school from their carefree kindergartens. Therefore, they are more likely to develop adjustment disorders, which result in poor evaluations of a curriculum’s quality.

Other studies on satisfaction have indicated that there are certain factors that affect students’ satisfaction with online learning environments, such as their interactions and self-regulation [ 37 , 38 ]. Parahoo et al [ 39 ] indicated that the interactions among students, teachers, and classmates are an important dimension of students’ satisfaction with online learning. Kuo and colleagues [ 40 ] found that learner-instructor and learner-content interactions are significant positive predictors of students’ satisfaction. Another study’s findings support the idea that learner-instructor interactions contribute to students’ satisfaction [ 41 ]. In our survey’s open comment section, the most frequently reported issue was the lack of interaction during online learning. This may account for the drop in satisfaction during the second survey phase. Sun and Chen [ 42 ] noted that students’ main difficulties during online learning were staying motivated, adhering to schedules, and studying regularly. Unlike the first stage of our study, only 7.8% (11/141) of students completed their courses and finished their homework on time after a 1-day online learning class. Due to the psychological characteristics of children, few elementary students are able to consistently complete their online lessons and maintain self-discipline [ 43 ].

An advantage of our study is that we were able to assess the causes of parental anxiety related to online lessons. The factor that most frequently hindered students’ learning was a lack of interaction, as identified by parents’ open comments. Online courses are taped in advance, so there was a lack of timely, two-way interactions between students and teachers. Our results indicated that students generally received information passively and lacked active communication during their online classes. Furthermore, students often did not understand certain questions. Consequently, students may lose interest in online classes over time. Another potential problem is that long online courses may result in students becoming addicted to their computers and televisions. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to computers, mobile phones, or televisions can cause vision loss in elementary school students [ 44 ].

Our results indicated that a lack of interactivity may be the most important factor affecting Chinese primary school students' satisfaction with online courses. The online lessons in this study were recorded in advance, and the videos were played to primary school students later, which resulted in the one-way flow of teaching information. This is worrisome because clear explanations and communication for clarifying questions are especially important for distance learners. In contrast, online education in high-income countries has exhibited some improvement and enhancement. They emphasized more on interactivity and student participation and considered this factor when planning online courses. For example, Hrastinski [ 45 ] provided the following theory in his research:

If we want to enhance online learning, it needs to enhance online learners' participation and interactive experience.

Suppan and colleagues [ 9 ] used a highly interactive online learning module that was tailored to customers’ timely feedback and prevented content skipping. Their results showed that their module could enhance medical students’ asynchronous distance learning in terms of knowledge acquisition. Synchronous e-learning based on interactive live webcasting has also been verified to be effective and feasible [ 46 ]. These results are consistent with our conclusions.

The low homework completion rates and high pressure on parents found in our study suggest that online learning tasks may be beyond the capacity of students and parents and may cause parent-child conflicts and emotional problems. Our data are consistent with those of another web-based survey in China, in which parents' Self-rating Anxiety Scale results showed that the degree of anxiety was higher than normal. Additionally, 17.6% of students were suspected of experiencing emotional problems during online homeschooling [ 47 ]. Another survey showed that 73.9% of primary and secondary school students’ parents felt that their burden increased, and compared to these parents, the burden on parents of primary school students in grades 1-3 increased by a higher degree (79.3%) [ 48 ].

In this study, 13.6% (137/1008) of parents complained about having to supervise their children, check their homework, and frequently deliver feedback to the teachers. This considerably increased parents’ workload, stress, and annoyance. Moreover, several parents were unable to help their children, as they were uneducated. According to a previous study, there has been an alarming increase in child abuse and domestic violence rates in Brazil during the pandemic. This may be related to families’ financial constraints, increased parental burdens resulting from school closures, parental stress, and the difficulty of dealing with children's irritability during isolation [ 49 ]. In our survey’s open comment section, a parent wrote that when he was supervising his child, the child was undisciplined in class and perfunctory in completing his homework. The parent became particularly irritable and violent and stated that he even beat the child. The reason for such conflicts may be that parents endlessly nag their children when they are supervising their children’s studies and correcting homework. This often results in children feeling that their space for independence is greatly compressed, which gives rise to conflicts between parents and students [ 50 ].

In academic circles, it is generally believed that there are utilitarian education and teaching concepts in China. Teachers who believe that “practice makes perfect” require students to perform many exercises during and after class. Since online courses in primary schools are prerecorded and lack teacher-student interaction, teachers transfer their responsibility of correcting homework to parents, which increases conflict rates and stress. Our results thus offer a new strategy for solving parent-child conflicts and emotional problems during online homeschooling.


There are several limitations to this study that need to be discussed. First, the sample size was not very large. In future studies, a larger sample size should be used to validate this paper’s results. Second, this study did not compare elementary school students’ tests scores from before and after online learning. Test scores can provide a more intuitive perspective on the effects of online learning. However, due to the regulations of the Ministry of Education, we were unable to obtain the scores of the elementary school students. Third, our scale does not provide demographic data, such as age, gender, or participants’ household incomes. As such, it was impossible to compare the differences among participants’ demographic data. This is problematic because elementary school students of different ages, genders, or income levels may have different experiences and attitudes toward online learning. Lastly, we did not investigate teachers' attitudes toward online learning. These issues need to be explored in future research.

To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to evaluate experiences and attitudes toward online learning among participants of two generations in the same family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online learning can prevent the spread of infectious diseases and allow elementary school students to gain knowledge. Most enrolled elementary school students (673/867, 77.6% at baseline; 112/141,79.4% at follow-up) were very enthusiastic about participating in online classes, and students and their parents were satisfied with these classes. Students were able to adequately complete all of their lessons and after-school homework assignments during the initial phase of online learning. However, as time progressed, the percentage of students who completed their lessons and homework on time decreased. At this later stage, students’ and parents’ satisfaction with online lessons decreased. However, some online learning tasks may be beyond the capabilities of elementary school students and parents and may cause emotional and behavioral problems. This study provides evidence for policy changes that aim to reduce the amount of pressure on parents and improve mental health levels, including those that prohibit teachers from assigning the task of checking homework to parents and increase the amount of interaction between teachers and students in online classes.


We thank all the participants and corresponding authors. This study was funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 81801341) and the Anhui Provincial Key R&D Programme (grant 202004j07020030).

Authors' Contributions

KZ conceived and designed this study. XZ and KZ provided administrative support. SC, CZ, SW, XZ, LZ, LW, QY, CH, and FC collected and assembled the data. CS and KZ analyzed and interpreted the data. All authors wrote the manuscript and approved of the final manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

Survey on the online education status of primary school students and the satisfaction of parents and students.


Edited by C Basch; submitted 22.09.20; peer-reviewed by L Chang, N Kaur, A Khaleghi, Z Aghaei; comments to author 19.10.20; revised version received 09.12.20; accepted 16.04.21; published 19.05.21

©Shu Cui, Chao Zhang, Shijiang Wang, Xingong Zhang, Lei Wang, Ling Zhang, Qiuyu Yuan, Cui Huang, Fangshuo Cheng, Kai Zhang, Xiaoqin Zhou. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 19.05.2021.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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Original research article, school environments and elementary school children’s well-being in northwestern mexico.

elementary students research paper

School environment refers to the set of relationships that occur among members of a school community that are determined by structural, personal, and functional factors of the educational institution, which provide distinctiveness to schools. The school environment is an important factor when evaluating student well-being. Previous findings have shown that variables such as physical, academic, and social dimensions influence school environments. This research seeks to explain the relationship between school environment and the well-being of primary education students. To carry out this research, a total of 405 students from four public elementary schools in northwestern Mexico were selected to participate. The instrument used to measure the variables and the relationship of school environment and well-being is based on the three dimensions of school environment proposed by Kutsyuruba et al. (2015) : Physical, social, and academic. Statistical analyses were carried out to determine the reliability and validity of the measurement scales using SPSS V20 and EQS software. Confirmatory factor analysis models were tested to determine the construct validity of each scale; then, an analysis via structural equation modeling was made to form an explanatory model obtaining acceptable practical and statistical indicators. Among the relationships in this study, our research identified the variable of school environments as an outcome determined by physical, academic, and social factors. School environment and student well-being variables were also found to be correlated.


The study of the physical, social, and academic (curricular) conditions of the environment and the administrative organization of schools have been related to school environments and the well-being of students ( Corral-Verdugo et al., 2015 ). Nowadays, it has become more common to find empirical studies that identify the impact of school environments on student well-being. For example, safe school environments and student well-being have been found to be significantly and strongly interrelated variables on research of various kinds of students’ needs ( Kutsyuruba et al., 2015 ).

Primarily, research of positive school environment is focused on physical conditions: density, privacy, activity areas, open spaces, and, even, green areas. Some of the most researched effects from physical elements have been the ones resulting from noise, lighting and colors, temperature and humidity, decoration, and furniture, since they contain properties that have effects on people’s behavior; nevertheless, despite having found evidence of these effects, the results are not considered entirely conclusive ( Olivos and Amérigo, 2010 ). The quality of these conditions in school infrastructure can have direct effects on the behavior and cognitive, social, and emotional development of children ( Prescott and David, 1976 ; Wohlwill and Heft, 1987 ; Moore et al., 2003 ). In other words, the school space is considered a didactic agent that helps to offer optimal physical conditions for the development of the teaching-learning process. Likewise, it allows for the creation of an adequate environment for the development of students’ abilities, fostering their autonomy as well as teacher motivation.

Romañá (1994) focused on the role that the environment takes as an object of attention for learning. There are three ideas about how it has been addressed: (a) conceiving the environment as an educator: the nature of physical elements of the environment as socializing agents themselves; (b) considering it as an educational object for the valuation and conservation of the environment, and (c) and conceiving it as an educational or didactic resource; in other words, as a pedagogical utility factor.

Olivos and Amérigo (2010) performed a historical review and background check on the study of the connection between environment and education and identified that it had been studied in the fields of pedagogy, where it had been called “environmental pedagogy” ( Göttler, 1955 ) or “mesological pedagogy” ( Zaniewski, 1952 ); and psychology, under the term “classroom ecology” ( Sommer, 1967 ; Weinstein, 1979 ). Other authors have also underlined how the emotional dimension is an important component in the development of evaluation competences, such as for example, the aesthetic evaluation experience, and we argue that this component could also be relevant for the evaluation of school environments (e.g., Mastandrea, 2014 ; Mastandrea and Crano, 2019 ).

At the end of the 20th century, environmental psychology focused its attention on the study of school environments, specifically on aspects of practical conditions such as ergonomics and architecture, considering particular physical aspects of the school environment and its role in the process of teaching learning and even associating it with academic performance ( Holahan, 1986 ; Gump, 1987 ; Bell et al., 1990 ; Gifford, 2007 ; Amedeo et al., 2008 ).

However, there are always challenges for the design and management of educational spaces and they overcome the traditional difficulties of improving the teaching-learning process in conflictful conditions resulting from social interaction within school environments. A wide range of studies has found a reduction of negative or violent behaviors that are usually present in schools are due to management changes in physical environments ( Bosworth et al., 2011 ; Steffgen et al., 2013 ; Cornell et al., 2015 ). Current trends in educational intervention consider the promotion of positive personal interactions as a priority and as a cause or consequence of harmonious activities of the school with its environment, putting integration into practice ( Corral-Verdugo et al., 2015 ).

It is in the second decade of the 21st century when special attention was paid to the study of school environments ( Bernardes and Vergara, 2017 ), school climate ( Wang and Degol, 2016 ; Maxwell et al., 2017 ) and its connection with student well-being ( Bird and Markle, 2012 ; Borkar, 2016 ).

Currently, research on physical aspects in school environments has gained attention as a result of the theoretical relevance of the human-environment link, the new conceptions about the importance of social interactions in the educational environment, and questions about the objectives of education in the modern world ( Aldridge and McChesney, 2018 ; Lundberg and Abdelzadeh, 2019 ).

In existing literature, this has been an extensively investigated subject in an attempt to depict a complete model of school environments. We have not only taken into consideration the contributions of Thapa et al. (2013) , who identify five dimensions that converge in security, social relations, teaching/learning, institutional environment (both physical and administrative), and process of school improvement; but also the ones from Bradshaw et al. (2014) , who suggested that there are three elements that affect the formation of safe and supportive school models, including the variables of commitment, safety, and environment. Both reflect the evolution of research in this area; and, despite their success in the identification of some relevant dimensions of school environment, they still suffer from a lack of variables to consider.

Particularly, as a basis for this study, we reference the contributions of Kutsyuruba et al. (2015) which, as a result from an exhaustive review of published empirical evidence, conclude in a common axis categorization of the school environment named “dimensions of the school climate” that consists of three main categories: (a) physical, refers to the condition of school facilities, the environmental quality of schools, and their relationship with the educational performance and behavior of students; (b) academic, where it is mentioned that the personal skills and characteristics of teachers serve as factors for the development of their students; and finally, (c) social, this specific category suggests that the quality of relationships between members of the school community is fundamental in the configuration of the school climate. These categories shape a conceptual framework that can be regarded as a multidimensional construction of the components and conditions of a positive or safe school environment ( Kutsyuruba et al., 2015 ).

Our study incorporates and integrates these three dimensions into a variable called school environment and evaluates its impact on student well-being. The participating population consists of children from fifth and sixth grade of primary education in Hermosillo, Mexico. Figure 1 shows the hypothetical model of variable correlations under study, where we propose that the physical dimension comprises the classroom, playground, and library elements; that the academic dimension consists of variables related to students, teaching methodology, didactic strategies, and evaluation; and the social dimension is constituted by justice, sustainability, and social behavior.

Figure 1. Hypothetic model of the relationship between school environment and well-being.

Conceptualization of Categories in the Study

School environment.

Space for the delivery of materials that correspond to the areas of basic knowledge where students and teachers interact with furniture that enables individual or group work. Recently it has been mentioned that specific characteristics of the classroom’s physical environment are related to student satisfaction, attitudes, and evaluation of the quality of the course ( Fraser, 2015 ; Han et al., 2019 ).

School yard

Spaces in which students perform educational, civic, recreational, and food-related activities. In a recent study, Dilbil and Basaran (2017) argue that playgrounds positively affected cognitive development and levels of attachment of children to school.

Space that is well-conditioned to read, learn, and consult a bibliographic collection belonging to the school community where students can interact and work. Schultz-Jones (2011) conducted a study to explain how an evaluation of the learning environment of the school library can be used to demonstrate a positive impact on student performance.

Student relationship

In the educational context, the teacher–student relationship is one of the most outstanding academic interactions at the core of the teaching-learning process. Even though this interaction is composed by many other elements, this relationship is the one that plays the most important role when it comes to meeting educational objectives ( Bertoglia, 2008 ). Affective teacher–student communication and interaction plays an important role in building a teacher–student support relationship and a positive classroom environment ( Roorda et al., 2011 ; Poulou, 2014 ).

Teaching methods

The didactic methods are part of the methodological aptitudes that a trainer must have. This means that these types of methods will influence the degree of intervention of the trainer on the student ( Calvo, 2006 ). Teachers’ classroom management practices have a direct impact on the probability of success of their students ( Gage et al., 2018 ). Classroom management and methods are a major challenge for teachers and school administrators, often qualified as the main area of concern for teachers and the most common reason why many choose to leave their profession. Recently, academic research on emotional health, especially during the early years of childhood, has had a greater interest in social and emotional learning and its relationship with the improvement of student behavior ( Caldarella et al., 2012 ).

For Bordas and Cabrera (2001) , an evaluation system within the classroom will be convenient as long as the students feel like active agents; learn to value their actions and learning, know and understand the curricular objectives; as well as understand the aspects of evaluation in certain tasks. Since the data that teachers receive from their evaluation serve as references for the future, it is necessary to think more deeply about the content of these evaluations, in addition to how we can create conditions for teachers to use this evaluation to inform their instructional methods ( Datnow and Hubbard, 2015 ).

Teaching strategies

The term strategy implies reflexive planning to do something by applying any general model used in the classroom ( Orlich et al., 2012 ). Previous studies have concluded that teachers in primary education use different teaching strategies as students gain knowledge through experience, participation in education, express their opinion, and solve problems ( Hus and Grmek, 2011 ).

Konow (2003) refers to justice as a virtue that is attached to what is morally correct, concerning the ethics, rationality, natural law, equity, or religion in which they base their foundations.


Regarding sustainability, it is important to mention that there are two studies that have prioritized the analysis of sustainable or environmental education. These are “Literature on Environmental Education” ( De Castro, 2010 ) and “Education for Sustainability” by Corral (2010) which required this component to focus more on environmental protection behaviors, forgetting the point that students can obtain various types of benefits when practicing sustainable behaviors ( Corral-Verdugo et al., 2015 ).

Social coexistence

Refers to the way students relate with others and how those relationships have important consequences in his/her personal development. Ponferrada-Arteaga and Carrasco-Pons (2010) explain that the emotional expectations that students have about their own school and the degree of recognition and legitimization of the differences manifested by the practices of the school institution influence how students deal with each other at school. A study made by Tian et al. (2016) shows that social support experienced in school is significantly related to subjective well-being.

Well-being is often interpreted as growth and human satisfaction; it is deeply influenced by the surrounding contexts of people’s lives and, as such, the opportunities for self-realization ( Ryff and Singer, 2008 ). Well-being incorporates the challenges that individuals face in their attempts to fully function and realize their potential ( Keyes, 2006 ; Medina-Calvillo et al., 2013 ).

One of the reasons why this topic was chosen is because literature that analyzes the conditions of school environments at the basic level requires empiric evidence that proves its impact in children well-being.

Materials and Methods

The main objective of the study was to test a model where the variable “school environment” is determined by physical, academic, and social dimensions. Our variables were “school environment” and “well-being.” The aim of the study focused on a correlational methodology with the purpose of measuring the degree of relationship between the variables mentioned above ( Sampieri et al., 1998 ). It also has a non-experimental design, since the phenomenon was experienced and measured as it occurred in its natural context. We employed an instrument consisting of different scales that evaluate each of the variables and constructions of the model ( Supplementary Data Sheet 1 ).


Four primary schools at the primary level were evaluated, two of them public and two private, all in the city of Hermosillo, Mexico. A total of 405 students were surveyed, 212 females and 193 males, aged between 10 and 12. At the time of the study, the students were in the fifth and sixth grade of primary school.


After deciding on what type of data needed to be collected, the instrument chosen was a survey that consisted of four variables divided in 11 subscales for a total of 63 items. In addition, the survey also included a brief questionnaire inquiring about certain demographic variables related to gender, grade, age, and school.

Physical Dimension

This scale assessed the educational spaces such as the classroom, the school yards, and the library. It comprised 15 items and was a semantic differential type scale, where two opposing adjectives are presented and the response is selected from six intermediate values.

Academic Dimension

A 24-item scale divided into four subscales: teacher’s relationship with students, teaching methodology, evaluation, and teaching strategies. All subscales were structured with Likert questions, where the response options were “never,” “almost never,” “almost always,” and “always.” In relationship with other students, they were presented with a scale consisting of eight items; the didactic methodology scale has 10 items; the evaluation scale with four items; and, finally, the scale of teaching strategies which includes four items.

Social Dimension

Contained three subscales with 11 items, the first one, referring to justice, included four semantic differential type items. The next section, sustainability, was composed of four items also elaborated in Likert scales with four response options going from “never” to “always.” Finally, the social coexistence scale ( Fraijo-Sing et al., 2014 ) evaluated three groups of social interaction, two corresponding to school and one from home, was a Likert scale about satisfaction with five response options ranging from “very unsatisfied” to “very satisfied.”

An adaptation for children of the Van Dierendonck (2004) version of Ryff’s (1989) psychological well-being scale (psychological well-being scales, SPWB), from which 13 items were selected, corresponding to the categories of self-acceptance, personal growth, and purpose with life.

Except for the social coexistence and well-being scale, the rest were specifically developed for the purpose of this study and were tested in a regional context (Northern Mexico).

First, a non-random sample was selected; that is, there was a process by which data were extracted to be analyzed, where the universe consists of elementary school students from the city of Hermosillo, Mexico. In the next phase, there was a request for authorization from the directors of the educational institutions to proceed with the application of the instrument. This was carried out in a period of 2 weeks, when students were surveyed in groups in their respective classrooms, without teacher intervention but with their approval.

It is important to emphasize that this instrument was tested as reliable and valid by comparing the magnitude of the different variables and indicators. Once the surveys were answered and the numerical valuations of variables were made, we obtained ranges of values for the responses, as well as the different trends obtained. Through this data analysis, we transformed the data into information that was used to answer our research questions by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS v21.0). Using this, we analyzed the psychometric properties and construct validity through exploratory factor analysis, reliability through Cronbach’s alpha, analysis of descriptive data of each of the scales, and correlation coefficients between the scales ( Supplementary Table 1 ).

Subsequently, we tested the structural model using the statistical program EQS. First, we analyzed the measurement models of each of the variables. Then, we performed a structural model analysis to test the model of school environments using procedures in first instance plot development (sets of two variables). Likewise, first and second order variables were formed.

Table 1 shows the correlation matrix of the measured variables of scholar environment and their internal consistencies. The Cronbach’s alpha values in all used scales turned out to be appropriate, indicating an acceptable reliability coefficient of the instruments. Overall, the correlations go from moderate, but statistically significant, to strongly correlated.

Table 1. Univariate statistics and their relationship to school environment and well-being.

Structural Model

Figure 2 shows the structural model that illustrates the relationship between the variables “school environment” (composed of physical, academic, and social factors) and “well-being.” In reference to model fitting and its interpretation, researchers use numerous goodness-of-fit indicators to assess a model. Some common fit indexes are the normed fit index (NFI), non-normed fit index (NNFI), and comparative fit index (CFI) ( Hu and Bentler, 1999 ). Absolute fit indexes were also employed to evaluate the degree to which the model proposed and how the actual data variance–covariance matrices compare. Some absolute fit indexes include the chi-square statistic and the standardized root-mean-square residual ( Bentler, 1995 ). We can verify that the indicators of goodness of statistical adjustment (X 2 = 570.99, 307 df, p = 0.000) were not significant, so there are no apparent reasons, in mathematical matter ( Corral-Verdugo, 1995 ), to discard this model and the relationships that are illustrated in it. On the other hand, it should also be noted that the goodness of fit indexes adjustments (BBNFI = 0.90, BBNNFI = 0.91, CFI = 0.93, RMSEA = 0.04.) show that the structural model is supported by the amount of data that was presented in this sample, since all values are equal to or greater than 0.90 ( Bentler, 1990 ).

Figure 2. Structural model of the relationship between school environment and well-being. Goodness of fit: X 2 = 570.99 (307 df ), p = 0.000, BBNFI = 0.90, BBNNFI = 0.91, CFI = 0.93, RMSEA = 0.04. Well-being R 2 = 0.35.

Our research was presented with the chance to provide additional empirical evidence to the conclusions of the work of Kutsyuruba et al. (2015) , who determined integrative categories associated with studies on school climate and proposed a three-dimensional model: physical, academic, and social. Other studies have offered a conceptual framework derived from a multidimensional construction of components and conditions of a positive school environment ( Wang and Degol, 2016 ). In addition to confirming the relevance of this theoretical–conceptual approach, we recognized a causal relationship between the school environment and the well-being of elementary education students who participated in the study ( Aldridge and McChesney, 2018 ).

The hypothetical model that guided this research was confirmed by the structural model’s second order factor called “school environment” which was shaped by the three dimensions suggested by Kutsyuruba et al. (2015) : physical, academic, and social. In turn, the “school environment” had an effect on the “well-being” variable ( Ryff and Singer, 2008 ), which also allowed us to verify the relevance of the suggestions made by Corral-Verdugo et al. (2015) in their review and conceptualization of a “positive school.”

Hypothesized first-order factors were also conformed by their respective measures and by the nesting of their variables. Confirming these relationships leads us to conclude that the present estimation and evaluation of the school environment dimension model was measured in a valid and pertinent manner for this construct. Results obtained by this model support the ideas of the three-dimensional construct of Kutsyuruba et al. (2015) and confirm this theoretical model in the reality of children of fifth and sixth grade of basic education in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Such remarks allow for some reassurance that we have established some of the variables that could influence a positive school climate ( Bosworth et al., 2011 ; Aldridge and McChesney, 2018 ). In the three dimensions proposed by the model, we can also identify the actions required in order to impact on well-being and its relationship with the academic achievement of the students ( Maxwell et al., 2017 ), their ways of relating to teachers ( Roorda et al., 2011 ), and the relationships they establish with peers and others in their environment ( Tian et al., 2016 ).

In other regards, this work suffers from limitations notably related to methodological aspects and the means used to collect data. Even when speaking about the validity of the instruments and statistical procedures that account for their reliability, the surveys used for this analysis were specifically developed for the purpose of this study on a non-random sample, which may compromise the generalizability of our findings, despite obtaining acceptable goodness of fit indexes. Therefore, we recommend future research should therefore seek to address this issue by devising a specific method for gathering data on random samples by the means of surveys.

A key strength of this research lies within the integration of the three aspects considered in our model. Some studies have discussed variables related to well-being. For instance, how the physical design of space affects learning and the well-being of children ( Martin, 2016 ); how teacher support and the ways it is perceived by students impacts well-being ( Reddy et al., 2003 ); and also, the way social relationships with companions and peers may serve as a protective factor for well-being ( Lindberg and Swanberg, 2006 ). However, gathering all of these variables into a single model can be considered to be a significant step forward in the study of student well-being, as well as which variables should be considered in order to design and promote the implementation of programs concerning well-being in school environments.

The posture of a school environment factor constituted by physical, social, and academic components was verified and adequately supported by the data gathered in our study and the structural model obtained in Figure 2 . The school environment factor also correlated significantly with a measure of well-being as proposed by our hypothetic model. Moreover, our measure of school environment was found to be a valid one given regarding internal consistency where all factors have a reasonable level of reliability; we can see that all the variables show acceptable correlation values as we also consider the goodness of fit indexes obtained.

Our model confirmed that, in order to promote subjective well-being, schools must facilitate the optimal development of people by accepting that all students possess differentiated strengths, recognize its students’ abilities, and offer school environments that imply positivity in aspects concerning the physical, social, and didactic spheres of school life. Insights into these aspects are expected to contribute to a better understanding of how they correspond harmoniously with the abilities and expectations of the students ( Corral-Verdugo et al., 2015 ; Maxwell et al., 2017 ). The potential implementation of these findings has been widely described in literature. A school should aim its goals toward the promotion of the subjective well-being of its students, without neglecting the purposes of developing academic and cognitive skills ( Huebner et al., 2009 ).

In order to design an accurate system, knowledge of the factors that contribute to well-being in school environments is necessary. The application of these research findings should be focused on the advocacy of curricula that embodies these factors, in such a manner that may comprise better practices in school environments ( Bird and Markle, 2012 ). A more interesting and practical scenario would be if findings such as the ones found in this study could be oriented toward the outlining or amelioration of public education programs dedicated to student’s prosperity, learning, and well-being.

Data Availability Statement

The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author.

Ethics Statement

The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by Comité de ética en Investigación de la Universidad de Sonora. Written informed consent to participate in this study was provided by the participants’ legal guardian/next of kin.

Author Contributions

CT-F and BF-S contributed by writing, reviewing, and editing. CT-F and VC-V contributed with conceptualization and design of this study. GG-T ran formal analysis and organized databases. CT-F contributed by supervising this study and its methodological tasks (methodology) were designed by CT-F and BF-S. GG-T and MM-B provided the writing of the original draft. All authors contributed to manuscript revision and read and approved the submitted version.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Supplementary Material

The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at:

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Keywords : school environment, well-being, positive school, children, elementary school

Citation: Tapia-Fonllem C, Fraijo-Sing B, Corral-Verdugo V, Garza-Terán G and Moreno-Barahona M (2020) School Environments and Elementary School Children’s Well-Being in Northwestern Mexico. Front. Psychol. 11:510. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00510

Received: 22 November 2019; Accepted: 03 March 2020; Published: 19 March 2020.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2020 Tapia-Fonllem, Fraijo-Sing, Corral-Verdugo, Garza-Terán and Moreno-Barahona. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: César Tapia-Fonllem, [email protected]

This article is part of the Research Topic

Where to Raise Happy and Skilled Children: How Environment Shapes Human Development and Education

Step-by-Step Explanation of How to Write a Research Paper for Elementary Students

Sarah pickard.

Stacked books in the library.jpg

Learning the basics of writing a research paper during elementary school will help students develop strong writing and research skills. Elementary level research papers can differ from those of high school or college levels in that the information presented is usually more general and the paper is shorter. The writing style may not be as strict for elementary students, but the concepts are just as important.

Explore this article

1 Create a title for your paper

Create a title for your paper that tells the reader what topic that it is about. Keep the title short and easy to read.

2 Create an outline for your paper

Create an outline for your paper. This will be used as a road map for writing your paper. A research paper will include an introduction, three to four sub-topics, a conclusion and a bibliography.

3 Gather your information

Gather your information by going to your school of local public library and searching for keywords in an encyclopedia. Make notes of information that you would like to include in your paper.

4 Write the introduction to your paper

Write the introduction to your paper. This is a short paragraph that explains to the reader what the paper is about.

5 Create the sub-topics or body

Create the sub-topics or body of the paper. A sub-topic is something that falls under the main category of the paper. For instance, if you are writing about the city in which you live in, have such sub-topics as population, state symbols or history of the city. Elementary students should pick three to four sub-topics to talk about in their paper.

6 Write two or three paragraphs or for each sub-topic

Write two or three paragraphs for each sub-topic. Tell the reader the information that you found on each topic.

7 Write a conclusion

Write a conclusion, which is a paragraph that summarizes the information given in the paper without giving any new information.

8 Create the bibliography

Create the bibliography, which is a list of sources that were used for the information presented in the paper.

9 Review the paper for any writing errors

Review the paper for any writing errors, including misspelled words, incorrect punctuation and grammar mistakes. Correct the writing errors and check that the papers follows the outline.

About the Author

Writing out of Salt Lake City, Sarah Pickard started her freelance writing career in 2010. She graduated with a B.S. in psychology from the University of Utah. Pickard is a member of the American Psychological Association, as well as several honor societies.

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FREE 10+ Elementary Research Report Samples in PDF | MS Word

The book “ Practical Steps to the Research Process for Elementary School ” stated that elementary students usually feel bored in doing research projects. Due to the students being greatly influenced by streaming media, it appears to be really challenging for them to focus on doing educational tasks. Are you an elementary student who needs to accomplish a research report for your class? In this article, we have some informative guide and downloadable elementary research report templates to guide you in being successful in learning the processes of research. Keep on reading!

Elementary Research Report

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elementary research report template

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sample elementary research report

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elementary research report

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sample elementary school research report

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sample students research report

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basic elementary grades research report

An elementary research report is a beneficial document made by the elementary or grade school students (typically in Grade 4-6), applying what they learned in performing basic research. This report appears to be a stepping stone for children in improving their skills and abilities to learn and process information, and promoting growth in their research study.

In this section, we provide  you some easy-to-follow tips  that indicate how to design an elementary report, as well as managing different kinds of phases in writing an effective research project report for elementary school students: 

The most important step in the process of developing a plan for your report is selecting a topic. A good topic is both feasible and a little bit difficult to the student’s evaluated capabilities. Search for ideas or concepts in a specific list made by your teacher. or look for your grade-level textbooks or other library sources. Also, include several good subtopics that will help you to dig deeper on your primary topic.

The second step in your research work is taking some ample time to research important information that you will use for your report . Some examples of sources that you can use for research are books , references, magazines, newspapers, videos, internet, and many more. By doing effective research, your comprehension and evaluation skills may potentially improve.

Carefully read the entire materials or sources that you have chosen for your research work prior to selecting facts. Look for the significant points of your reading material. Then, organize the highlighted points you found, analyze them, and select key facts from each part to align your subtopics.  

Last but not the least, you should develop a well-designed outline of specific actions or tasks for your elementary research report. Go back from your notes in your research study. Then, sort the notes into subtopic sections and arrange them in a basic outline order. Move the notes into a logical pattern for writing. Use numbers and bullets while arranging the methods and tasks. 

The format of the research report contains a list of primary sections consisting page numbers, tables, illustrations, reference list, and appendices. Also, it provides an abstract that shows a clear overview of goals, methods, outcomes, and conclusions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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There are different kinds of research skills such as analyzing information, asking questions, respecting ownership, using networks, and many more.  

Make research fun by writing a quiz, creating a collage, going for a photo scavenger hunt, transforming research into art, and designing a magazine.

First, you need to identify the task significance for the research, look for top keywords, utilizing proper tools, taking notes, and collecting data.

Thus, elementary school students will fully benefit throughout their education by means of developing their research skills. This will help them instill an insight of academic research and establish a solid foundation for their future research projects when they enter middle school, high school, and college or university, especially when they got hired from work.  Here are some of our downloadable and printable report samples available in different kinds of formats. Simply click the templates in this article and start downloading now!

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Grades 4-6: for source writing you will view a later-in-the-year lesson.  The lessons start off with one source and build to more sources and paragraphs.

research writing

The following lessons are designed to assist students in conducting research, drawing evidence from text, describing what they have learned, as well as going through the steps needed to complete a research paper.  

The skills related to research are isolated as students are moved through a series of learning activities providing practice and reinforcement.  Students learn to select a topic, form a focus, write a thesis statement, gather information, prepare to write, write the paper, edit & revise, and publish the final draft.


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