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2018 Wyoming-Eastern Colorado Regional JSHS
University of Wyoming 
March 23, 2018


Wyoming-Eastern Colorado Region
JSHS 2018 

The Research Paper

All students intending to apply must submit an abstract and research paper reporting the results of their STEM research. Abstracts and research papers should be word or PDF files and will be uploaded into this registration. When saving and naming files for upload, please use the following file name format: Last Name_First Name_Abstract and Last Name_First Name_Research Paper.

A full research paper detailing your findings and/or the ongoing and future directions of your research. Each applicant may tailor the format of this paper to meet their individual needs, but a recommended format is provided here:


Your paper should describe all aspects of your research project, and it should be easily understood by a person who is interested in your work but has little or no expertise in your field of study.


CONTENT AND ORGANIZATION                     

We suggest organizing the paper as follows:

  1. ABSTRACT - your abstract should be submitted on its own sheet of paper (details are provided above), but it is useful to compare the content of your abstract with the content of your paper to ensure that the abstract serves as a complete and concise distillation of the entire paper.
  2. INTRODUCTION – this should provide a clear and concise statement of the purpose or objective of your research project. It should provide sufficient description so that your reader can easily understand the background and significance of your project.
  3. MATERIALS AND METHODS – you should describe your approach, including both the conceptual framework of your project and the methods that you use, with sufficient detail to permit your reader to understand how you obtained your results.
  4. RESULTS – you should state your findings truthfully, clearly and concisely. This section should state only what you observed (facts and data), with analysis of the results saved until the next section.
  5. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS – you should summarize what your findings revealed. This is different than the results section. The results section is about what you found. The discussion is about why that matters. Your reader should be able to easily understand what you deduce from your findings and how that relates to the framework of significance that you laid out in your introduction.   
  6. RELATED WORK – if it is appropriate, a student may wish to describe work done by other researchers on similar problems topics. For example, if you and a friend investigated to different aspects of a similar problem, then you could describe not only your findings in each project individually but also how your projects are interrelated and mutually beneficial. If you have no related work, please leave this section blank.
  7. FUTURE WORK – in this section you can describe your plans and recommendations for future research. If you are planning to personally pursue additional steps in your project, please indicate that here and describe what those steps will be. If you are not planning to pursue your project further, please also indicate that an describe what steps you would recommend to someone who was taking over your project and continuing it.
  8. LITERATURE CITED - we suggest using in-line citations (e.g., brackets or superscripts) throughout the paper (e.g., “researchers have found that X is true (3)” or “researchers have found that X is true3”.  The numbers included in the main text of your paper should match with numbered references to literature that is cited in this final section (primary research papers or books, with no references to websites such as Wikipedia). The goal of this section is to give proper credit to researchers that a come before you. It is important to cite any specific claim that you make (e.g., “substance X has been found to impede the growth of cancer cells (Smith et al. 2012)”), but it is not necessary to cite general claims (e.g., “people are often excited to learn about new scientific discoveries”).


This method of organizing a paper is flexible and can be tailored to the needs of each individual, but we recommend that you follow it if the nature of your research permits it. Please keep in mind your audience and their needs in order to understand the nature of your project. Your central goal of this paper should be to communicate the importance of your project, what you found, and why that matters using clear language and following a logical progression from one idea to the next.



All papers must be double spaced and printed in 12 point font (either Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri) on standard letter-sized paper (8.5” x 11”) with one-inch margins all around. The paper should be a minimum of five pages and a maximum of 20 pages in length, including all portions such as figures, appendices, literature cited etc.  The first page of the paper should be a title page containing the title of your paper, your name, the names of any partners or mentors in the project, and the name of your high school (or school district for authors that are educated at home).  Use your paper’s title as a header on all pages. Do not put your name on those pages. It is advisable but not required that you include page numbers at the bottom center of each page after the title page. 



All artwork and illustrations must be neat, easily legible, of very high quality and clearly and concisely explained in an accompanying figure legend. Any materials taken from a prior publication should be cited in the accompanying figure legend (e.g., “adapted from Figure 3 in Smith et al. 2016”).  Figures should be incorporated into the text as attractively and unobtrusively as possible. Figures should be cited using a parenthetical reference in the main body of the text (e.g., “we found a positive correlation between plant growth and ambient temperature (Figure 4).”  A good practice is to include the figure very near to the point where it is first cited in the paper.


For additional information on paper preparation, style and presentation, please visit the website for the National JSHS Symposium at http://www.jshs.org.