High school science projects can be some of the biggest learning opportunities you find that bridge hands on, experienced based learning with traditional fact finding or problem solving education. You spend several weeks working on experiments you hope to display before your classmates or at fairs. But there’s more to creating a great display. A major component of a great science project is writing a great research paper. A paper for a science project will be a lot shorter than say an academic science research paper you find in journals, but it will have many similarities. Here’s how to craft a great science project research paper:
An abstract is one of the most important sections of any research paper because it basically summarizes what the rest of the paper is about. Others will read abstracts to find out if the rest of the paper is interesting or helpful to their work.
Your introduction will provide background information to your audience as well as offer your thesis statement. A great way to approach writing this section is answering a few questions like: why are you conducting this experiment? What will this experiment show? What other similar experiments exist that are similar and what will your experiment do that the others haven’t”. Your thesis shouldn’t just be a guess as to what you believe will happen but be a proclamation of what you argue will happen based on the evidence you have gathered.
Your methods explain the processes, materials, and criteria you used to conduct your experiment. It’s basically an inventory and instructions section that shows someone how they can conduct this same experiment and presumably reach the same results, assuming they follow your methods exactly.
This section should be as accurate and as concise as possible. There is absolutely no room for opinion or guesswork here. Your audience expects you to clearly state what happened when, say, you dropped a watermelon from a roof. State your results simply so that if anyone were to try this experiment on their own they could without question compare and contrast.
In this section you provide your observations in details and offer your opinions as to why something occurred as it did. For a science project paper, this section is a great place to list any problems you encountered as well as offer reasons why you believed those problems occurred. Your conclusion will summarize your results and discussion sections and state your final findings.
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