Rather than tackling a massive research assignment that consumes numerous weeks and concludes with only one paper, consider providing students multiple, smaller, research experiences.
For these smaller research papers, you can boost student motivation by having kids investigate topics of personal interest.
With the help of a three-column chart, students can integrate their interests with an assigned subject. Use the center column to assign an overriding subject area. Then, after listing their personal interests in the left column, have students write, in the right column, a list of specific topics that bring the subject into an interest focus. From those connections, students can discover interesting ways to write about an otherwise uninspiring subject.
With a few potential topics in mind, encourage students to finalize their choices by putting their options through the Topic Test. A topic that passes the test is worth researching.