BYRAM Seventh and eighth grade students at Byram Intermediate School are learning research skills in their research and writing lab classes which officials hope will help them with their future scholarly endeavors. The class, now taught by Brian Hamer, is attended by all seventh and eighth graders for one quarter during the year. In the class, both seventh and eighth graders are taken through the steps to gather proper research on a variety of student-chosen, teacher-approved topics. To emphasize the importance of writing for a variety of purposes, both classes wrap up with persuasive essays delivered on the research topic. The seventh grade class concentrates on the skill of effectively debating one’s position on an issue. In the class, students choose from a number of two-sided topics. The class concludes with an informal debate, where each side of the issue is supported by the students’ collected information. This new format for the seventh grade class will prepare students for upcoming scholarly endeavors, as it allows them to use facts and reasons to support their idea, as well as present their position in a public forum. The eighth grade class puts a more historic twist on the research assignment. The eighth graders must choose an important topic from the beginning of the 1920s to the beginning of the 1970s. The students then must research their chosen topic and compose a paper that proves to the reader that the subject is indeed noteworthy. The class culminates with a recorded newscast presentation where the students create a script from which to deliver their research.