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How To Compose A Science Fair Research Paper Abstract: Useful Tips & Tricks

The first thing you should do is refresh your definition of an abstract. This is essentially a shortened version of your entire final report on the science fair project. Most science fairs have an upper limit of 250 words, but make sure you check what the rules are for your report. Engineers and scientists almost universally agree that each abstract should have these 5 important parts:

  1. An introduction—this always comes first, and you use it to describe the why, or the purpose behind doing your project, explain how it will change people’s perspectives, and motivate the reader to keep reading for the entire report
  2. Problem statement—this is a hypothesis identifying the problem solved or theory investigation
  3. Procedures—how did you approach this problem, and describe important variables, just don’t list materials used in this section
  4. Results—what findings did you obtain, specifically with numbers and facts
  5. Conclusion—what does this project contribute to your field, talk about how you did or didn’t meet your objectives and design goals

The importance of an abstract for science fair reports

When writing this, keep in mind the entire point of having an abstract. It can be challenging, but having a short summary of your project is helpful when describing it to strangers, advertising your work, and showing your professor that you can boil down your ideas into a concrete paragraph.

Your abstract should leave people with an accurate representation of what to expect from your science project. Think of this as the back of a book, telling you what you’re about to read and how it might excite, entertain and intrigue you. Since the abstract has a lot of influence on the reception of your project, it’s important to get this right.

It’s a good idea to focus on the current year of research and avoid referencing previous work that you have done. Make the main job of your abstract to pull people into this current moment of experiencing your science fair project, without making them think about what citations you used, how you improved from last year, or what your favorite part is. Simply use facts without meaningless or difficult words, and explain only the key points to get the reader to understand. Most regular people won’t know much about the field you’re studying.

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