research paper tips

Writing A Science Fair Research Paper – Top 10 Planning Tips

A science fair bestows upon a student the opportunity to select a topic of interest and study it in the manner of professional scientific researchers. This multistep process of writing a science fair research paper requires adequate planning and preparation, and listed below are the top 10 tips for planning.

The first 5 tips fall under the phase of ‘Generation of Ideas’, whilst the remaining tips pertain to the phase of ‘Planning the Research’:

  1. Brainstorming: This stage is dedicated to coming up with ideas and the topics suitable for the paper. While brainstorming, emphasis is laid on a topic’s ability to intrigue, as this idea is displayed at the science fair.
  2. Forming questions: After certain topics are chosen, forming several investigative questions for each topic leads to the discovery of vital information. Consequently, these questions lay the basis of one’s experiment and paper. Moreover, these questions prove or disprove a hypothesis, which aids the formation of a research paper.
  3. Consult teachers: Seeking the guidance and approval of teachers is of paramount importance, as they help settle on a topic and assist in investigative questions, which are most suited for the science fair paper.
  4. Form hypothesis: Selection of the topic and investigative question is followed by formation of a hypothesis, which is the probable answer to one’s investigative question. Forming an idea as to what the likely outcome of the experiment maybe is imperative and is finally proved or disproved by the thesis statement.
  5. Record ideas: Maintaining a record of ideas in a dedicated science journal helps maintain a chronological record of the progress made and information garnered.
  6. Seek information: Gaining information through published literature is not enough, since gathering profound insights of experts is crucial for the success of an experiment, and for arriving at the paper statement.
  7. Research hypothesis: Prevention of problems that arise while conducting the experiment is possible by gaining more information about the hypothesis, as it equips students with the necessary knowledge to deal with the various possible outcomes.
  8. Record and cite sources: Citing sources lends credence to a science fair research paper, hence maintaining a record of every source and citing them when needed is essential.
  9. Procedural plan: Determining the procedural plan aids determination of details, which ensure the success of the experiment.
  10. Initial plan: Determination of the finer details leads to the initial planning required for conducting the experiment using display materials; hence, a mental sketch is prepared in this stage, which puts an end to the planning stages.