Guys I'm from Hamilton Middle School (did not get to Nats last year) my brother did and got 5th at nats for anatomy
. Anyways how do we like actually write a qualitative observ., analysis and a conclusion. I always write random crap but I want to see like a legit one.
When I competed I was normally the person who wrote everything through the procedure, but this is how my teammates did it.
There are four types of observations that you must include for full credit. You will want one to be about something that went wrong in the experiment, one about the general trend, and one about an outcome that is not the DV you are looking at. You also want continuous observations about what is happening in the experiment.
So for example, I will use an experiment where the IV is mass added to a parachute (5g, 10g, 15g, and control = 0g) and the DV is time taken to hit the ground.
- In the second 5g trial, a gust of air pushed the parachute away from its vertical drop trajectory. (deviation)
- The addition of more mass to the parachute appeared to strain the string holding the weights to the parachute. (non-DV outcome)
- 2 of the 5g trials took similar lengths of time to fall. (This and below are continuous observations)
- The 10g trials appeared to fall in the same time as the 5g trials.
- The 15g trials appeared to fall in as much time as the 5g and 10g trials.
- The control trials took much longer than the ones with mass added.
- Overall, the time required to fall increased with mass added but did not change much with different amounts of mass. (general trend)
The key here is to mention each IV level conducted and comment on the data relative to other trials in that level and to other levels. Then, you need to comment on the overall trends observed in the data. The best way to go about this is to rely on both the raw data and statistics.
Back to the example:
In the 5g trials, the parachute took (x) seconds to fall on average. The raw data in this trial deviated slightly from this and gave a standard deviation of (y), showing the data is fairly uniform. In the 10g trials, the parachute took (z) seconds to fall and had a standard deviation of (a), showing the data was also fairly uniform. There was not a significant increase or decrease in this drop time compared to the 5g trials...(follow the same format for all other trials, and be sure to compare to the control)...In general, as the added mass increased the drop time remained the same. However, the presence of an added mass increased the drop time.
Here you want to have a definitive statement on whether the data supports or does not support the hypothesis. I would advise against other wording because it may be too strong for the grader. You will also want to restate your hypothesis and give legit reasons to support your statement. In my team's experience, a strong last sentence went a long way. We summed our conclusion up by saying, "Because of (trend observed in data), we thus conclude that our initial hypothesis is (supported/not supported)."
Our hypothesis, increasing the added mass on a parachute will decrease the drop time, is partially supported by the data. Although the drop time initially decreased upon the addition of the first 5g of mass, it did not fluctuate for further additions of mass. The 5g trials on average took (x) seconds to drop, but the 10g and 15g trials took respectively (z) and (b) seconds to drop. These mean drop times are too close to call statistically different. Because the drop times between additions of mass did not change significantly, we conclude that our intial hypothesis is not fully supported.
Remember, we are proud of every team that participated and you are all winners.