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Science Fair Paper and Display Board Guidelines

What components go into my research paper? 1. Title Page 2. Table of Contents 3. Introduction 4. Materials and Methods 5. Results 6. 7. 8. 9. Discussion Conclusions Credits References

Introduction: this should include the purpose, hypothesis, and explanation of what made you decide to research what you chose, and what you hoped to gain from the research. Materials and Methods: List all materials for project. IN DETAIL, describe the methods you used to collect data, make observations (what did you do? How often? What measurement tools did you use and why? The paper should be in so much detail that ANYONE that picks up your paper and reads it could replicate your project). This is a great location for photos of equipment, especially if you design any of it. Results: all data is here. Any data tables, graphs created from data, raw data, and observations all are included here! Discussion: This is the REAL MEAT of your paper. This is your opportunity to compare your results with any theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs and/or your expected results. Be sure this is in paragraph form. In your discussion you should do/answer the following: o Compare what happened in your experiment to what you expected o Discuss possible errors o How did the data vary between observations/trials? o How were your results affected by uncontrolled events? o What would you do differently if you repeated this project? o What other experiments should be conducted? Conclusions: Provide a brief summary of your results. State the relationship (if any) that you found between your two variables (independent and dependent). Support those statements with empirical data (meaning an average of your trials instead of data from a specific trial). BE SPECIFIC - not general. Don't mention anything new here that has not already been discussed in your paper. This is also the place to mention how your findings can be applied in the real world. Credits: Give credit where credit is due - here you may list individuals, businesses, or research institutions that have assisted you. Please note that credits may NOT be displayed on the project board References: your list should include ANY documentation that is not your own. Please cite your work using MLA format. Some great places for help on the MLA style: http://www.easybib.com/, the Perdue OWL MLA Style Guide. Also visit http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/students/mla_citation.html Now, what about the abstract? What else can there to be to say? After you have completed your research and experiment, you will write an abstract. This is a general summary of your entire project and should NOT include more than 250 words. The abstract is at the

beginning of your paper (between the title page and table of contents) and NOT on your display board. Your abstract needs to include: o The purpose of the experiment o The procedures used o Data and conclusions Your abstract should NOT include acknowledgements to others for help OR any work/procedures done by a mentor/teacher/parent. What items should be included on my display board? This layout is a suggestion. Select a LARGE size (roughly 36 tall)


Title May be in the form of a question


Background Information



Conclusions and Applications


Photos, charts, graphs

Display Board Tips Do not begin display board until experiment is complete and you receive teacher approval Thanksgiving Break is a great time to get your display board in top shape This is merely a suggestion for arrangement. Do what works best for your project. Be sure to include all components Lay out your project BEFORE you attach it to the board! Rubber Cement works better than glue! (Glue can cause papers to wrinkle and bleed!) Be sure your charts and display are neat and simple!