The statement of significance is an important part of a scientific report. All scientific studies should be significant in some way, because they should have some new knowledge to add to the research canon. The statement of significance tells the reader why the study is important, in other words, what the research contributes to the scientific field. It differs from the thesis and purpose statements. The thesis statement indicates what the study will prove. The statement of purpose indicates how the researcher will prove it.
Things You'll Need
- Professor's guidelines
- Research databases
Review the professor's guidelines for writing your research report. The statement of significance may be formatted into the paper as a section of its own. It may also be added under another section, such as the introduction, the conclusion or the statement of the problem. Make sure you know how many words or pages you are required to devote to the statement of significance.
Make notes on the significance of the study based on what you've learned in your science class. The significance of the study will relate to the statement of the problem or the question the research is attempting to solve. Ask yourself how solving this research problem will add to, contradict or complicate other existing research or commonly held ideas in the field. Using your textbook as a guide will help you find ideas about the topic, as well as providing an index of previous research.
Use your school's research databases to find research on the topic at hand. If you are having a hard time finding existing research that would clarify previous ideas about the topic or scientific problems your research would solve, consult a librarian for help. If you are having further problems, schedule an appointment to consult with your professor.
Compile all of your research. It may be helpful to write yourself an annotated bibliography for your own personal use. An annotated bibliography may even be required by your professor. In an annotated bibliography, the research is cited according to style manual guidelines. A paragraph is then written under each citation noting the findings of the study.
Write your statement of significance by rephrasing your research findings in your own words and providing in-text citations in the appropriate format. Check your professor's guidelines if you are not sure which style manual to use. Make sure you use scientific language. You may be doing a report for psychology class on attitudes of adolescent girls toward drug use, for instance. Previous research may have only addressed young girls from specific racial or ethnic demographics. You may have encountered new research that addresses a more diverse population. Don't write, "My study is significant, because it is better than the other, more limited studies." Instead, write something like, "This study is significant because it expands on previous research, addressing a more diverse population of adolescent females." Then, cite research proving your point.
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