How to Write a Project Paper
Many projects require an accompanying synthesis or summary, to illustrate the main points and findings of the project for classes in high school and college. Such a paper should reflect the process of developing the project as well as any major conclusions which the project illustrates. Many times, you will organize this type of paper chronologically as you reflect on the project's development and implementation. With a little pre-writing preparation, the main body of the project paper will come together smoothly. Be sure to follow any class guidelines in creating a project paper.
Create an outline which reflects the project's main goals, a summary of the project and the final conclusions of the project. Write a Roman numeral I and place the word "Introduction" next to it. In this introductory outline write out the main focus of the project and the central goals the project entails. For example, if you are writing a paper on a project about climate change an idea for the introduction might be: "In this project we aimed to look for major trends in the literature on climate change in the greater southwest of the United States to conclude whether there has been a significant change in moisture levels in the monsoon season." This brainstorm should be used as a chance to develop your main thesis statement, a statement which reflects your overall paper argument.
Continue building an outline using Roman numerals for each main body paragraph. Each numeral should represent a single topic and a single paragraph. For example, an outline topic could be "Climate Change in Northern New Mexico". Underneath the header create a topic sentence which introduces the reader to the new topic and paragraph. For example, "Weather trends in northern New Mexico suggest that rain patterns have changed significantly over the last two decades." Include any notes or thoughts which reflect your project at this point. If you created charts or graphs for your project, include those findings in the main body outline to emphasize your point.
Conclude the outline with the main points and conclusions from your project. Utilize any graphs, major studies or other materials to conclude how this project is important and ideas for further investigations into the topic you have discussed. For example, "While weather patterns have changed, the results in these major studies do not give a conclusive reason for why these patterns have changed. Future work on these weather patterns will help to resolve some of the mysteries of climate change in the southwest." Use the entire outline to create topic sentences and the major arguments from your project research. These steps will be crucial in practicing and developing your writing skills for the paper.
Use the outline to begin writing the project paper. Open the paper with a basic overview of the project, the main goals of the project and your thesis statement. These main points should be jotted down within your outline. Write the main body of the project paper by discussing each main topic in a single paragraph. If the topic is extensive, you can use more than one paragraph to discuss it. Avoid putting two topics within one paragraph to keep organization and clarity intact. Conclude the paper with the major conclusions you reached in your project and ideas for future discussions.
Use concise language, and avoid using contractions when writing a formal paper. Keep the language on topic and keep focused on your own project. Because this paper should reflect the project, keep in mind the process of developing the project. The project development issues can be discussed in the introduction, or can be discussed as a main body topic within the paper.
- Edit the paper a few times by reading through the entire paper looking for organizational and grammar mistakes.
- Have a friend or peer read over the paper and give you feedback.
- Always cite any outside sources you used in your project and within the paper.
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