science project paper

The purpose of your research paper is to give you the information to understand why your experiment turns out the way it does. The research paper should include:

For every fact or picture in your research paper you should follow it with a citation telling the reader where you found the information. A citation is just the name of the author and the date of the publication placed in parentheses like this: (Author, date). This is called a reference citation when using APA format and parenthetical reference when using the MLA format. Its purpose is to document a source briefly, clearly, and accurately.

Many science experiments can be explained using mathematics. As you write your research paper, you’ll want to make sure that you include as much relevant math as you understand. If a simple equation describes aspects of your science fair project, include it.

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.

At this point, you are in the home stretch. Except for writing the abstract, preparing your science fair project final report will just entail pulling together the information you have already collected into one large document.

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!

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!

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All Chicago Public Science Fair papers need to use the APA (American Psychological Association) format. For assistance, use The Owl for formatting tips.

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.

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.

Check the Science Buddies website to see some of the technical aspects of writing a science paper. (font, size, pictures, etc)

Last name of author (or person you talked to), First name, “Title of article or chapter”, Title of source (book title , magazine title or “Conversation”), Place where published:Publisher name, Date, volume: pages.

They are written or typed in this form:

*List the materials you used and what you did. If drawings will make it clearer, draw on separate pages and put in this section. Explain in detail things you made.

Jones, Thomas A., “The Development of the Chick” Animal Development Magazine , June 1976, Vol. 16:27-34.

Here we are going to show you how to conduct an experiment to test one of these claims: the absorbency of paper towels.

Of course, this is a very simple experiment and it does have some limitations; you are testing only one reason why people choose a certain brand.

This, as we know, is not very scientific – there are no figures, no proof and little truth.

Perhaps you could design an experiment to rate the strength and softness, or try and calculate how much each towel costs per sheet.

Science Projects need a question. For this project the question could be: 1. How does the water absorbency rate of Brand X compare to other paper towel brands? 2. How does the water absorbency rate due to Brand X’s quilted design compare to other paper towel brands? 3. What effect does price have on the absorbency rate of paper towels?


1. If Brand X’s quilted design increases water absorbency, then Brand X will absorb more water than other paper towels. 2. Brand X will absorb more water because of its quilted design. 3. Brand X is the most expensive, thus it will be the best water absorbing paper towel. 4. If expensive brands are best, then Brand X will be the best water absorber.

Following are ideas for a paper towel water absorbency rate project.

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4. Now fold the two edges of the paper inward so you have a longer triangle shape at the top.

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Which airplane flew the farthest? What features in the design do you think were responsible?