11 Tips for Writing a Science Fair Research Paper - dummies

11 Tips for Writing a Science Fair Research Paper

By Maxine Levaren

Part of Science Fair Projects For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One of the tasks of entering a science fair is to write a background research paper for your project. Don’t be nervous about it, though. Basically, it involves finding and organizing information, and then drafting and polishing your paper.

Before you actually begin planning your paper, make sure you know what your teacher requires. Sometimes, he or she wants one or two pages summarizing what you discovered from your research, while others require a ten-page paper complete with bibliography and footnotes.

Here’s how the research-paper process works:

  • Gather all the information you need from books, magazines, the Internet, government publications, and interviews.

  • Keep track of the sources of all your facts.

  • Organize information by grouping related facts together.

  • Use the following three-point formula for your writing the paper.

    The “them” in this formula may be teachers, fellow students, judges, and so on depending on your individual circumstance. Just consider who your particular audience is and fill in the blank:

    • Tell them what you’re going to say.

    • Say it.

    • Tell them what you just said.

  • Outline your paper by determining your main headings and grouping related facts under each heading.

  • Write a first draft of your paper using your own words (so that you don’t plagiarize anyone else’s work).

  • Format the bibliography.

  • Review, edit, and revise the paper.

  • Ask someone else to read it over.

  • Check your spelling.

  • Create your final copy.