Your final report will be several pages long, but don’t be overwhelmed! Most of the sections are made up of information that you have already written. Gather up the information for each section and type it in a word processor if you haven’t already.
Save your document often! You do not want to work hard getting something written the perfect way, only to have your computer crash and the information lost. Frequent file saving could save you a lot of trouble!
Your final report will include these sections: Title page. Abstract. An abstract is an abbreviated version of your final report. Table of contents. Question, variables, and hypothesis. Background research. This is the Research paper you wrote before you started your experiment. Materials list. Experimental procedure. Data analysis and discussion. This section is a summary of what you found out in your experiment, focusing on your observations, data table, and graph(s), which should be included at this location in the report. Conclusions. Ideas for future research. Some science fairs want you to discuss what additional research you might want to do based on what you learned. Acknowledgments. This is your opportunity to thank anyone who helped you with your science fair project, from a single individual to a company or government agency. Bibliography. Write the abstract section last, even though it will be one of the first sections of your final report.
Remember to do a spelling and grammar check in your word processor. Also, have a few people proof read your final report. They may have some helpful comments!
Most teachers want a research paper to have these sections, in order:
The history of similar experiments or inventions Definitions of all important words and concepts that describe your experiment Answers to all your background research plan questions Mathematical formulas, if any, that you will need to describe the results of your experiment.
When you write your research paper you might want to copy words, pictures, diagrams, or ideas from one of your sources. It is OK to copy such information as long as you reference it with a citation. If the information is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph, then you should also put it in quotation marks. A citation and quotation marks tell the reader who actually wrote the information.
For a science fair project, a reference citation (also known as author-date citation) is an accepted way to reference information you copy. Citation referencing is easy. Simply put the author’s last name, the year of publication, and page number (if needed) in parentheses after the information you copy. Place the reference citation at the end of the sentence but before the final period.
State the hypothesis of your experiment, the driving force behind your science fair project. The National Health Museum defines a hypothesis as a testable statement that predicts a possible explanation to some phenomenon or event.
Science fair projects bring to mind images of students in white lab coats conducting experiments and recording data in notebooks. Science fair research papers, however, have become a capstone to any successful science fair project. Science fair winners know how to write reports that prove scientific skills and impress the judges, writes science columnist and educator Dr. Carlson. A well-written research paper helps others understand your science fair project and may even improve your overall grade.
Explain the overall significance of your science fair project and how your experiment relates to the world.
Explain the results of your experiment and draw conclusions. State whether or not your hypothesis was correct. Include any applicable mathematical formulas and equations, since many science experiments can be explained using mathematics.
1. You’ll be making three planes today to test different designs. The first plane you’ll make will be a simple dart plane. Then, we’ll add on other features that might make the planes go faster or slower for the other designs. Start by holding a piece of paper vertically.
Which airplane flew the farthest? What features in the design do you think were responsible?
Gravity opposes lift and pushes the plane down. Gravity is related to mass, so if the plane has more mass, it’s going to fall faster. The key is to create more lift under the wings than gravity. This is why you can still have a very heavy plane, like an airbus, but still keep it in the sky. These planes are designed so the force due to lift is greater than the force due to gravity.
Although you’ve identified some great designs, you might still be wondering about the physics that keeps the plane in the air. The answer to this is force , which is a push or a pull on an object. Four main forces act on planes, lift, gravity, thrust and air resistance.
Science research papers follow a particular structure, including an introduction, review of methods, report on results and discussion of the meaning. This discussion is often considered the conclusion for the paper. This differs from other research papers, which can often include many more sections, such as a literature review or annotated bibliography. Science research papers are typically focused on a specific scientific inquiry, whereas other research papers may only be based on printed material.
Different scientific papers will require varied goals, so it’s beneficial to check the specific assignment requirements for each paper. However, in general, the discussion should draw conclusions that are supported by the given evidence, present information in a format that demonstrates the major results, clarify what should not be concluded from the results, explain implications and give suggestions for how to use the information. The discussion section enables the writer to frame how others should understand the study in question. It does not need to be lengthy, just enough to provide a full interpretation.
Some common problems in the discussion include overloading the reader with too much information, ignoring “negative” results that do not support the original hypothesis or the conclusion that the writer wants to draw, making statements that are too broad and unspecific, drawing conclusions that are not supported by the given evidence and focusing too much on problems and not solutions. Most of the time, it’s best to stick to the evidence and draw straightforward conclusions, rather than explaining results that the researcher wishes were there, but aren’t actually present.
All conclusions are meant to summarize the results and implications of a topic under study. This can seem like repetition most of the time, but the discussion is one of the most important parts of a science research paper because it’s where a researcher should interpret results, discuss data, raise unanswered questions, be specific and give recommendations for future studies. In short, the discussion or conclusion section provides the most in-depth analysis of the findings in the study and gives readers a sense for what they should do with the information.