Selecting a Subject for a Project or Report

1. Be sure that you understand all of the requirements for the assignment.
      Do not just assume that they are the same as for a previous assignment.  If there are any parts of the instructions about which you are not positively clear, ask questions.  Be careful when asking other students, they may have also not understood.  When told that an assignment did not meet one of the requirements, to say, "I didn't know", usually means, "I didn't bother to find out."
2. Be certain that you understand the range of acceptable subjects.
      Make sure that the subject you choose fits the requirement.  If the assignment is in astronomy, a study about fish is not likely to be accepted.  Given the general subject "science", a student brought in a current event about Hollywood stars.  When asked, "What does this have to do with science?" the student said, "I don't know".  So, no credit!  Be ready to explain why you think your subject is appropriate.
3. Keep the area of your subject small enough so that you can cover it with reasonably completeness.
       You may start out with a broad area of interest, then as you learn more about it, narrow it down to something you have time and ability to finish with overall completeness.
4. Select a subject in which you have at least a small amount of interest.
       The more interested you are in your subject, the easier it is to work on.
5. Select a subject which will allow you to demonstrate your highest level of ability.
       In the 8th grade, a student brought in a project which had gotten an A in 5th grade, and wondered why it didn't get an A at the higher level.
6. Have a second choice subject ready in case you run into a serious problem with your first choice.
       A student did a project measuring the acidity of rain.  During the time he had to work on the project, there was no rain.  He should have had a backup.

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