How To End A Science Fair Research Paper

Key Info

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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

Sample

Here is a sample science fair project final report. Note: The author's teacher did not require source citations and required a different format for the bibliography. Science Buddies staff added references and reformatted the bibliography at a later date; consequently, the page and volume references are fictitious for some of the sources.

Science Fair Project Final Report Checklist

What Makes for a Good Science Fair Project Final Report?For a Good Science Fair Project Final Report, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Does your abstract include a short summary of the hypothesis, materials & procedures, results, and conclusion? If you did an engineering or programming project, did you state whether you met your design criteria?Yes / No
Does your final report include:
  • Title page.
  • Abstract.
  • Table of contents.
  • Question, variables, and hypothesis.
  • Background research (your Research Paper).
  • Materials list.
  • Experimental procedure.
  • Data analysis and discussion (including data table and graph(s)).
  • Conclusions.
  • Ideas for future research (for some fairs only).
  • Acknowledgments.
  • Bibliography.
Yes / No

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Overview

Your conclusions will summarize whether or not your science fair project results support or contradict your original hypothesis. If you are doing an Engineering or Computer Science programming project, then you should state whether or not you met your design criteria. You may want to include key facts from your background research to help explain your results. Do your results suggest a relationship between the independent and dependent variable?

If Your Results Show that Your Hypothesis is False

If the results of your science experiment did not support your hypothesis, don't change or manipulate your results to fit your original hypothesis, simply explain why things did not go as expected. Professional scientists commonly find that results do not support their hypothesis, and they use those unexpected results as the first step in constructing a new hypothesis. If you think you need additional experimentation, describe what you think should happen next.

Scientific research is an ongoing process, and by discovering that your hypothesis is not true, you have already made huge advances in your learning that will lead you to ask more questions that lead to new experiments. Science fair judges do not care about whether you prove or disprove your hypothesis; they care how much you learned.

Conclusions Checklist

What Makes for Good Conclusions?For Good Conclusions, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Do you summarize your results and use it to support the findings?Yes / No
Do your conclusions state that you proved or disproved your hypothesis? (Engineering & programming projects should state whether they met their design criteria.)Yes / No
If appropriate, do you state the relationship between the independent and dependent variable? Yes / No
Do you summarize and evaluate your experimental procedure, making comments about its success and effectiveness?Yes / No
Do you suggest changes in the experimental procedure and/or possibilities for further study?Yes / No
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