A very important phase of the research of a scientist is the effective reporting of the research project attempted and completed. The technical report is different from other kinds of informative writing in that it has a single, predetermined purpose: to investigate an assigned subject for particular reasons. Technical reporting is done in the passive voice. Use of personal pronouns should be avoided except in rare instances. The telling portion of the research job is often underrated. Thus, communication is a very necessary part of research work. Any breakdown in communication means that the report has failed. The following functional analysis of the parts of the report is suggested for use to aid in organizing and presenting the results of scientific and experimental efforts.
A. Purpose of the investigation (why the work was done)
B. How the problem expands/clarifies knowledge in the general field
C. Review of related literature
II. Experimental procedure (how
the work was done)
A. Brief discussion of experimental apparatus involved
B. Description of the procedure used in making the pertinent observations and obtaining data
III. Data (what the results were)
A. Presentation of specific numerical data in tabulated or graphic form
B. Observations made and recorded
C. Any and all pertinent observations that bear on the answer to the problem being investigated
contributions to knowledge)
A. General contributions the investigations have made to the answer to the problem
B. Further investigation suggested or indicated by the work
V. References—should be the
CITED Only (the literature sources that are Actually Cited in the paper)
A. Items arranged alphabetically by author’s surname
B. References presented in this order:
1. Author (surname, with initials only)
2. Date of year (in parentheses)
3. Title; capitalize first word only
4. Source: (periodical) NO ABBREVIATIONS) (book) city, state of publication, publisher
Nebel, B. J. (1999). Environmental science. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Bardeen, J. L. (2000). To a solid state. Elementary Science Concepts, 27(9): 14-15.
Each item in the Works Cited MUST ALSO BE CITED
WITHIN THE TEXT of the student paper, using the parenthetical format of
the APA Style Manual. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and is not limited
to direct quotations. Any word, thought, statement, or instruction written
by another author and used in the student paper must be appropriately cited in
the student paper presented to the Junior Academy.
back to top
Each report submitted must be endorsed by a local science or mathematics teacher. The teacher should approve the report as the first member of a selection committee. IT SHOULD BE APPROVED ONLY IF IT IS OF HIGH QUALITY AND REPRESENTS THE STUDENT’S OWN WORK IN RESEARCH AND PREPARATION. The science or math faculty submitting two or more papers in a given category will be asked to serve as judges for those papers and rate them in the order of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., according to merit before submission to the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science for final judging. The report will then be read by a committee of two or more additional scientists in the field appropriate to the report. Reports will be selected on the basis of research design (30 points), creative ability (20 points), analysis of results (20 points), grammar and spelling (20 points), and general interest (10 points).
TENNESSEE JUNIOR ACADEMY OF SCIENCE CALENDAR FOR 2011
March 1 Final Date for Receiving Reports
March 20 Completion of Report Evaluation
March 30 Mailing of Invitations
April 15 Annual Meeting--- Nashville
back to top
The report should be an accurate presentation of a science or mathematics project completed by the student. It should be comprehensive yet avoid excessive verbosity. Maximum length should be 1500 words. The report and the project it describes must be original with the student, not just a review of another article. It should be obvious that experimentation and/or observations have been scientifically made. The paper should reflect credit on the writer and the school represented.
Visual aids such as slides, mock-ups, and charts may be used in presentation of the report. Illustrations within the report should be restricted to tables and/or simple line drawings. These must be done in black ink on 8 ½” x 11” paper. It is suggested that the total width of the illustration itself be not more than 7”. Illustrations submitted with the paper MUST be originals, not copies, and they should be in black and white because the Handbook cannot be printed in color.
The report must be double-spaced on 8 ½” x 11” paper. Give careful attention to spelling and grammar. Prepare a COVER SHEET for the report, giving the required information as specified. The cover sheet included with this material may be duplicated as needed. Prepare an abstract to accompany your paper (not more than 100 words). No paper will be considered unless it is accompanied by an abstract.
back to top
Each report must bear an OFFICIAL COVER SHEET, which may be obtained in advance from:
Director of the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science
Dr. Jack Rhoton
Box 70684, East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614
The ORIGINAL COPY of the report should arrive on or before March 1, 2011. The parts of each report should be stapled or clipped, not bound. Heavy covers increase the cost of postage. The student should keep a copy of the report; the original cannot be returned. (We MUST have the ORIGINAL of all papers—and illustrations—for publication.)
back to top