Scientific research involves designing a study, collecting samples, measuring variables, analyzing data, and presenting the results in a formal report. The writing process makes the author think more deeply about the study. Accurate, clear, and concise writing is essential to effective communication among researchers, teachers, and students. A scientific report provides a writing experience different from a library term paper because it is based on your own data and personal involvement in the investigation.
You are to choose a current scientific topic or problem to research and take a stance on whether it is helpful or harmful to society. You will then develop a hypothesis to test your ideas and an experiment to either support or refute your hypothesis.
This is to be a research experiment of your design. If you are working along side a research scientist at a local college or university, you are expected to come away from that experience with ideas of your own to test. Do not turn in a project that you did not develop on your own – the head research scientist gets credit for performing research for the college/university they are employed by.
Your research paper must follow these guidelines or you will not receive full credit!
Research Report style, layout, and page formatting
All text on the title page is centered vertically and horizontally. The title page has no page number and it is not counted in any page numbering.
Left margin: 1" Right margin: 1" Top margin: 1" Bottom margin: 1"
Pages are numbered at the top right. There should be 1" of white space from the top of the page number to the top of the paper. Numeric page numbering begins with the first page of section 1 (although a page number is not placed on page 1).
Spacing and justification All pages are single sided. Text is double-spaced, except for long quotations and the bibliography (which are single-spaced). There is one blank line between a section heading and the text that follows it. Do not right-justify text. Use ragged-right.
Font type and size
Trebuchet, Times New Roman or Arial are acceptable font types. The font size should be 10-12 points. Generally, the same font must be used throughout the manuscript, except 1) tables and graphs may use a different font, and 2) chapter titles and section headings may use a different font.
CBE or APA format should be used to cite references within the paper. You are encouraged to use the in-text citations to identify the source of specific details or reference values. Do not use Footnotes – these eat up too much space for publication purposes. When you name the author in your sentence, then follow the authors name with the year in parentheses. For example:
Jones (2004) found that...
If you do not include the authors name as part of the text, then both the author's name and year are enclosed in parentheses. For example:
One researcher (Jones, 2004) found that...
A separate, but complete, bibliography is attached at the end of the paper. This is where you list other resources not used for citation purposes. It is double spaced except single-spacing is used for a multiple-line reference. The first line of each reference is indented.
Helpful websites http://www.apastyle.org/learn/index.aspx (has great tutorials) http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/tools/report/reportform.html http://www.aegis.jsu.edu/mhill/research/researchf.html http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch09_s1-0001.html
An abstract is a short summary of YOUR completed research. If done well, it makes the reader want to learn more about your research.
These are the basic components of an