Paper Format


Effective reporting of a research project is a very important phase of the scientific endeavor.  The paper report should be an accurate presentation of a research project conducted by the student.  Generally, projects consist of defining a problem; seeking background information from teachers, engineers, technicians, physicians, scientists, and others in the community as well as scientific journals and books; designing an experimental approach to solving the problem; conducting controlled field or laboratory investigations; drawing appropriate conclusions and preparing a written report, presented in an organized and logical manner, revealing all aspects of the investigation. Other creative endeavors not necessarily following this pattern will be considered.


The report should be concise.  Ten to fifteen typewritten pages, double spaced on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper, should generally be considered a maximum length.  If accepted for reading, the oral presentation of the paper cannot exceed 12 minutes in length.

Each paper should have a cover sheet with title, the name of the researcher, sponsoring teacher(s), school, address, and the broad category of investigation (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, etc.). In our ongoing efforts to minimize our environmental impact, all submissions will be electronic. EMAIL THE PAPER to jsehs@maryville.edu

The following format is suggested.

  1. Introduction
    1. Cover page (sample cover page)
    2. Acknowledgement Page
    3. Abstract, a brief review of the paper (300 words or less)
    4. Table of contents
  2. Body (Text)
    1. Statement of problem
    2. Review of related literature and documented background information
    3. Procedures
    4. Presentation and discussion of results
    5. Conclusions, implications and suggestions for future work
  3. Bibliography
    1. List literature that you have read that is related to the problem.  You are encouraged to use scientific journals and up-to-date textbooks rather than news media and general reference books, e.g. encyclopedias.  Arrange the bibliographical references alphabetically by author.
    2. Example
      • Books
        Wallace, Robert A., 1978.  The Ecology and Evolution of Animal Behavior, 1st ed., Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc., Pacific Palisades, Calif.
      • Journal Article
        Govindjee, P.G. and Rajni Govindjee, 1974. “The Absorption of Light in Photosynthesis,” Scientific American, Vol. 261, No. 6, pp. 12-24.

    Other helpful suggestions concerning preparation of your report may be found in:  Stvle Manual for Biological Journals, 2nd ed., American Institute for Biological Science, 3900 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016.

Students will be expected to submit a digital copy of their paper to the JSEHS judging committee on or before February 4, 2013.  Submit to jsehs@maryville.edu