Almost everybody remembers book and project reports in high school, with the dreaded due date looming and no ideas on the horizon. A school project report doesn't have to be an overwhelming emotional event. Putting together an effective school project report takes planning, research and a little creative thinking. By combining these elements and following through, you can turn your dreaded class project assignment into something enjoyable that will show in your final grade.
Choose your project topic. Make it something you have an interest in. Researching and writing about a topic you enjoy will make the process easier and likely result in a better grade. If you don't have the opportunity to choose your own topic, make the best of the topic provided by your teacher. Find something about the topic that interests you and slant your project accordingly.
Research your topic thoroughly. With the Internet, researching just about any topic is easier now than it's ever been. The more research you do, the quicker the writing process will go. Make detailed notes and highlight all your references so you can save time later, once you start writing.
Start writing your paper as soon as you've completed the research. Avoid waiting until the last minute. This will result in a rush job that can take away from the quality of your work. Format your project report with a title page that includes the title of your project and your name, unless your teacher requests a specific format. For high school project reports, MLA or APA style isn't typically requested. If it is, refer to specific guidelines to ensure your paper meets the requirements.
Work from your notes to ensure you relay all of the important information you've collected. Start by stating what your project is, then use the main body of your paper to describe how you accomplished the project. Write in such a way that your audience could recreate your project by following your paper. If your project includes display work in addition to the paper, give a description of the project display and how you designed and made it. This is especially important for science projects that you may need to demonstrate.
Turn your paper in with all of your project research and notes, even if your teacher doesn't request you do so. Not always, but sometimes, including all of the elements that went in to writing your project report may have a positive influence on your final grade.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.