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The long answer is that the research paper summarizes the theory behind your experiment.
"For reference citations, only direct quotes need page numbers" (Han, 1995).
"Some sources will not have dates" (Blecker, n.d.).
When you work hard to write something, you don't want your friends to loaf and just copy it. Plagiarism is when someone copies the words, pictures, diagrams, or ideas of someone else and presents them as his or her own.
When you find information in a book, on the Internet, or from some other source, you MUST give the author of that information credit in a citation.
A citation and quotation marks tell the reader who actually wrote the information.
For a science fair project, a reference citation (also known as author-date citation) is an accepted way to reference information you copy. Simply put the author's last name, the year of publication, and page number (if needed) in parentheses after the information you copy.
You do library and Internet research so that you can make a prediction of what will occur in your experiment, and then whether that prediction is right or wrong, you will have the knowledge to understand what caused the behavior you observed.
From a practical perspective, the research paper also discusses the techniques and equipment that are appropriate for investigating your topic.
If a simple equation describes aspects of your science fair project, include it.
As you read the information in your bibliography, you'll want to take notes.