Performing an experiment and collecting data is only part of a science project -- you must also present that data in a project report. This paper tells readers about your hypothesis, method and results, but it’s not complete until you summarize what you discovered through your experiment. Your conclusion is one of the most important parts of your project. It shows readers what you learned and why it’s important.
In the beginning of your project report, you probably asked a question, which led you to hypothesize that a particular result would happen through an experiment. In the conclusion, you answer this question. For example, if you asked, “What makes one bubble solution better than another?” you could have hypothesized that glycerin solution would produce better bubbles than regular dish soap. Begin your conclusion by restating this question and hypothesis. This opening of the conclusion, which should be two to three sentences long, reminds readers about your research question and provides a segue into discussing your results.
Ask yourself what happened when you tested your hypothesis -- whether your experiment supported or contradicted your guess about what would happen. In the next part of your conclusion, tell the reader whether or not your hypothesis was correct based on your experiment results. You could write, “The experimental data confirmed my hypothesis because the glycerin solution produced bubbles nearly twice as large as the dish soap solution.” While this section makes up the bulk of your conclusion, you want to summarize your results in as few sentences as possible because you assume your audience has already read the full discussion of your results previously in your paper. This summary serves to remind the reader about key results and to clearly and concisely say whether your hypothesis was proved correct or incorrect.
What You Learned
Tell your readers about the success of your experiment. Even if your hypothesis was disproved, you discovered something new. In a couple sentences, point out the importance of your research or how your findings could benefit other budding scientists. For example, write, “Through this experiment, I learned that glycerin solutions produce better bubbles than dish soap. My results suggest that glycerin is an ideal additive to bubble solution.”
Consider whether your project had any shortcomings or if there would be a way to change the procedure to make it more efficient or accurate. Not all methods are perfect in science projects, so finish your conclusion with recommendations for replicating your experiment, in one paragraph or less. For example, if you used a pipe cleaner as a bubble wand in your experiment, suggest trying other materials to determine whether the wand makes a difference in the results. Also ask yourself whether your project left some questions unanswered, and suggest ideas for future research.
About the Author
Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.