At some point in time in your school career, you will have to do a school project. This might take the form of a research or science project. Some research projects might involve only book research, with no action on your part other than a report and poster or other visual demonstration. Usually a science project requires some background research, visual demonstration and actual experimentation. Find out as much as you can about the project’s requirements before preparing your proposal.
Writing Your School Project Proposal
Find a topic that interests you. Even if the project is not in your favorite subject, you can usually find a way to relate it to one of your favorite subjects. For instance, if the project is in social studies and you prefer science, you could do a project on the history of a famous scientist. You will learn more from your project if it is based on something that appeals to you. Some teachers will require you to let them know your topic before you proceed.
Take out some books from the library and learn more about your topic. Take notes that you can use in your report, writing down page numbers in case you have to cite them in your bibliography or resource section.
Using what you have learned, hone your topic to formulate your school project’s thesis. If it is a report, this might be simply stating who or what you are researching. If it is a visual representation, you will state what you are drawing or modeling. If you are doing an experiment, you need to state a testable hypothesis. For example, “I will test the effect of filtered light on plant growth.”
Describe the methods or materials you will use to perform your school project. A report will cite reading materials. For a visual representation, you will state the medium, such as modeling clay, oil painting or wooden structure. An experiment proposal will state the materials, define experimental and control groups, as well as the procedure and how you will analyze the data. For example, “I will plant string bean seeds. For the experimental group, I will cover half of the plants with pink colored filter paper. For the control group, I will cover the other plants with clear filter paper. After two weeks, I will measure all of the plants and compare the average growth of each group.”
Write up your proposal. Start with an introduction that states the background of your topic and the reason for your interest in the subject. Write a section describing the methods and materials -- and analysis, if applicable -- you intend to use. Wrap it up a conclusion that includes what you hope to demonstrate or learn through doing the project.
Bring your proposal notes to your teacher if you need help. Do not proceed with the experiment if you are unsure whether or not the proposal has been approved. Make sure you have come up with a good, testable hypothesis if you are doing a science experiment.
Ask your parents for permission if you are doing a project that might make a mess or take up space in the house. If you are doing a project that involves interviewing people outside of the house, make sure your parents are able to help you to communicate with these persons.
Elizabeth Miller started her writing career in 1984. She has been blogging at The Divine Gift of Motherhood since 2007 and regularly contributes to Catholic Media Review, Mamazina Blog and "Suffolk County News." She received her Master of Arts in experimental psychology from St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y.