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What is the Proper Format for a Science Fair Research Paper

Science Fair –The Project and the Research Paper

Every year, students participate in science fairs, designing their own research projects to present at a fair. Some students pursue projects such as

The Research Paper to Accompany Your Science Fair Project

All science fair project typically requires you to write a paper to accompany the project. You hand this in to your teacher and the essay will address what you discovered during the process of your research and assembly of your project.

These essays are not hard to write. You’ll have plenty to say about what did and didn’t work about your project.


You’ll want a title that coveys the scope of your project to your reader. For example, “A Study of Bioluminescence in Algae,” or “An Experiment to find out If Green Detergents or Less Toxic,” or “Do Alcoholic Mouthwashes kill Bacteria More than Ones Without Alcohol.”

The Introduction and Purpose Section

When you write this section of your paper use this header above. Underneath it explain first how you became interested in the project and clearly state your thesis. “In this experiment I wanted to find out if green detergents are actually less toxic than regular ones.”

To Conduct This Experiment I Used These Sources

In this section, you’ll tell your reader about what books, articles, or works informed your experiment. What did you read about detergents that informed your experiment. You don’t cite the works here—you’ll attach a “references” section where you’ll list the sources in whatever style (APA or MLA) that your teacher prefers.

Hypothesis: Explicitly state your hypothesis:

My hypothesis is that green detergent is / is not . . .

Materials and Methods

List the kind of materials and methods you used in your project or experiment.

You can use photos as well.

Data and Results

You have to have a data section. This will include any charts or data you write down, for instance, as you test the detergents.


What did you find out after experimenting with both detergents, for example?


Final conclusion you drew from your science fair project. What did your experiment with green detergents versus real detergents, for example, tell you?