Useful Advice On How To Write A Great Science Fair Research Paper
Once you have completed your research and your science fair project is done, it is time to write your research paper for the science fair project. The purpose of this paper is to give information to the reader explaining why your experiment turned out the way that it did.
- Your research paper needs to include a history of similar examples such as similar inventions or similar experiments. It must also include definition for all of the important words and the important concepts that describe your experiment. The research paper should include answers to any of the background research questions. And if any mathematical formulas are needed in order to describe the results, though should be included as well.
- For every picture or every fact that you can have in your paper, you need to have a citation that directs the reader as to the source of your information. This citation can be something as simple as the name of the author in the date in parentheses. If you are given a particular citation or formatting guide to use, then you should adhere to that. Make sure that if you copy text from a different source, you use quotations. You must also include a citation.
- Do not forget to use quotation marks and citations. If you accidentally forget to include this information, it will be considered plagiarism. Many teachers want your science fair research project to have in order, a title page which contains the title of your research project, your name, and the date, as well as the body of your report, and your bibliography.
- Your research paper should summarize the results of your science fair project you may need to include special information in your report. As you review the information from your science fair project, you should take notes. The notes can be used to organize your paper a later date. The best way to expedite the writing process is to do some planning beforehand.
- Before you write your science fair project report, think about what order is best for presenting your report. Think about what the reader needs to know about your report. Ask yourself what they need to know in order to understand the results of your project. You might want to start your paper by introducing your science fair project topic. After that you can define any important words, important concepts, or equations that you used in your experiment. After this you can provide the reader with a history of experiments that are similar to yours.
- And finally, you can close with answers to your background research questions. When you write this paper, make sure that anything you copy from another source is properly cited.
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Writing a Quality Paper
All Chicago Public Science Fair papers need to use the APA (American Psychological Association) format. For assistance, use The Owl for formatting tips.
Elements of a Science Fair Paper
- Your abstract should be a short summary of your experiment. It should be three paragraphs long and discuss the purpose, procedure, and conclusion of your project.
- Safety Sheet
- This part has a specific format which will be provided by your advisor.
- Title Page
- Come up with an impressive way to display your topic.
- Table of Contents
- Purpose and Hypothesis
- In discussing the purpose and hypothesis, you must clearly describe why you conducted the experiment and what prediction you made. It is helpful also to state why you made that prediction.
- Review of Literature
- Here you are summarizing the research you have done. Write about research that is relevant to your topic. This is one of the most important sections of your report. Be sure to cite sources in this section, stating where you got your information from. (See our guide on Choosing Sources)
- Just a list of the materials needed for experimentation. If necessary, make a note of dangerous items.
- Include a step by step list of the procedure you followed in your experiment. Write this section so that someone who doesn't know anything about your project can follow what you did. Explain as though your audience is intelligent, but uninformed. Using diagrams along with your explanation of the procedure is a good idea.
- In your report, you must list the results of your experiment. Results that are numerical should be listed in a table or a graph. Remember that a graph looks neater, and it is easier to see patterns in a graph than in a table or list of numbers (see our guide on Graphing in Excel ). Make sure that all tables, graphs, and diagrams are labelled appropriately.
- What did you find out by doing your experiment? Does this result agree with your hypothesis? (It's okay if it doesn't!) Talk about your experiment here, but also what kind of broad scientific conclusions can be made. An error analysis discussing what kind of sources of error affected your experiment must be done here.
- Reference List
- This is also called the bibliography or the works cited page. Include all the sources you used in your report in this section, as well as material you read which helped you understand your topic. (See our guide on Writing a reference)
By including all the necessary sections in your paper, you make sure that you get the highest score possible. Nearly a third of the points awarded in the science fair come from the score on the paper; this means that every successful science fair project had a well-written report.
Another important thing to consider is that your paper needs to be well-written in addition to having all the necessary components. Grammar doesn't need to be perfect, but everything should be spelled correctly, and there shouldn't be any obvious scientific inaccuracies. Write your paper early and spend some time proofreading it. Also make sure that others read your paper so that they can help check it with you. Writing a paper takes time, and rushing through it will probably end with poor results.
Check the Science Buddies website to see some of the technical aspects of writing a science paper. (font, size, pictures, etc)
If you include all the necessary parts of your science fair report and take your time writing and proofreading it, you will succeed.