Research Paper Middle School Soccer

Research Paper Guidelines & Schedule

 HMS Research Calendar 
6th Grade Due Dates7th Grade Due Dates8th Grade Due Dates


Research Paper Guidelines for Hilldale Middle School

Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at Hilldale Middle School will be required to write a research paper in their English class, as well as do other various research projects in other subjects.  These are the standard guidelines for the Middle School.

  1. Sources – All sources must be primary sources.  The requirements for each grade are:
    • 6th grade – 1 book and 2 online sources
    • 7th grade - 2 books and 3 online sources
    • 8th grade – 2 books and 3 online sources
  2. Research – Each grade will have 2 days in the Middle School library and 2 days in the Middle School computer lab.  After that, all research will have to be done on student’s own time either at home or school.
  3. Notecards – Notecards will be 3x5, and students will create 2 per source.  Students must follow the notecard format provided by their teachers.
  4. Writing – Students will have 2 days in class to write their papers after all the research and notecards have been completed.  All other writing will be done on students’ own time.  
  5. CitingSources – Students will create a Works Cited page following the MLA standards for citing sources.  This must be completed in the correct MLA format provided by the teachers and handed in with the research paper.
  6. Typing – Students will have 2 days in the Middle School computer lab to type their research papers.  It would be very beneficial for students to own a flash drive on which to save their research.  Any other typing will have to be done on the students’ own time.
  7. Formatting – All papers must be typed in 12 font, black ink, Times New Roman, and must be double spaced.  Failure to do this will result in reduction of points on the overall research paper grade.
  8. TotalPageRequirements:  
    • 6th grade – 2 typed pages, plus a cover page and the Works Cited page
    • 7th grade – 2 ½ typed pages, plus a cover page and the Works Cited page
    • 8th grade – 3 typed pages, plus a cover page and the Works Cited page
    • Honors Class Requirements: 
      • Honors 7th grade – 3 typed pages, plus a cover page and the Works Cited page
      • Honors 8th grade – 4 typed pages, plus a cover page and the Works Cited page
  9. DueDates - All parts of the research papers must be turned in by the due dates assigned by the teachers.  Students will receive a calendar of due dates from their teachers at the beginning of the research assignment.  This will also be posted on the school website. 
  10. Grades – The research paper assignment will be worth 300 points.  Students will receive a grade sheet at the beginning of the research assignment detailing what each section is worth.  This will also be posted on the school website.
  • We will use the MLA format for all sections of the research paper. You can find how-to help for all research paper sections at

Printable Version

  • Soccer ball
  • Ball pump
  • Ball pressure gauge
  • Tape measure meter or yardstick
  • Inflation needle
  • Glycerin oil
  • Roll of gym floor tape
  • Marker
  • Pen
  • Graph paper
  • Data chart

This soccer science fair project serves to acquaint students with basic information on how the amount of air in a soccer ball can affect the distance it travels when kicked with a consistent force. The greater the air pressure in the ball, the farther it will travel when a force is applied. In the process of conducting the research, the student will learn that atmospheric pressure may also affect how far the ball will travel. The student will learn about the relationship between air pressure and friction: the lower the friction, the farther the ball will go. The student will learn about concepts like air pressure, gravitational force, compression and expansion of air molecules, potential energy and kinetic energy.

This science fair experiment also serves to acquaint students with the essential processes of scientific inquiry such as using a control, of identifying dependent and independent variables, collecting data, presenting data, and making good judgments about the validity and reliability of their findings.

  • air
  • friction
  • forces
  • air pressure
  • compression of air molecules
  • expansion of air molecules
  • gravitational force
  • energy
  • kinetic energy
  • pressure gauge
  • air pump
  • How do we measure air pressure?
  • How much air pressure is there at sea level?
  • How is air pressure inside the ball related to the distance the ball will travel?
  • What happens to the air pressure inside the ball when it is kicked?
  • Will the atmospheric pressure affect the distance the ball will travel?
  • Does friction affect the distance the ball will travel?

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research:

  • What is a control? A control is the variable that is not changed in the experiment.
  • What purpose does a control serve? It is used to determine what the variable changed.
  • What are variables? Variables are factors that can be changed in an experiment.
  • What is an independent variable? The independent variable is the one that is changed in the experiment.
  • What is a dependent variable? The dependent variable is the one that changes as a result of the change in the independent variable.
  1. State the problem you are going to investigate in this science fair project.
  2. Create and reproduce the data sheets you will use to record your observations.
  3. Gather all your materials.
  4. Select a helper (another student or a parent) to assist you in gathering the data.
  5. Use the gym floor tape and mark the path along which you will kick the ball.
  6. Select three air pressure levels for the ball, designating them as low, medium and high. Using the pressure gauge, double check the pressure in the soccer ball each time you change the pressure. Caution: When kicking the ball, try to kick with the same force each time. Have your partner mark the spot where the ball lands each time. Then, measure the distance and record the data in your chart. Repeat the procedure 3 times at each pressure level and then average and record the results for each level.
  7. Make a line graph of the data, recording differences in pressure on the Y axis and the distance travelled on the X axis.
  8. Record your conclusion and prepare your report. Include all of the following: a clear statement of the problem, your hypothesis, and a list of the materials used. Include any safety precautions taken. Describe the procedures used. Include all the data that were gathered, including all charts and graphs. For dramatic value, you may include photos of the materials used or of you in the process of conducting this investigation. Include a bibliography of sources you used. You may wish to assess what you did and describe what you would do differently if you were to do this project again. You may wish to expand this research next year. What other experiments might you use to investigate the physics of a soccer ball?

In each section of the experiment, use charts to display the obtained data such the following sample:

Chart #1 : Observations: How far did the ball go?
Pressure in soccer ball in PSIDistance Travelled in cm.
High #1
High #2
Medium #1
Medium #2
Low #1
Chart #2: Average Data
High PSI
Medium PSI

Goodstein Madeline. The Physics of Balls in Motion, Berkley Heights, NJ; Enslow Publishers

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