As with the criteria above, not all elements described here may apply exactly to all exhibits, but the concepts of depth of treatment and effective presentation can be assessed for all exhibits.
This is the area of knowledge which underlies the topic of the investigation. The exhibitor should demonstrate a thorough understanding of this knowledge base.
The thoroughness of work (and thus effort) which has gone into an exhibit is reflected in the scope of the topic, the scale of the investigation, the detail obtained, the extent of the results, the repetition of experiments, measurements or observations, the construction of the exhibit and its illustrative items, written material and other displays. As with all criteria, these must be related to the age of the exhibitor, the resources and facilities available to them, and in some cases, to the topic itself.
An exhibit reflecting a thorough approach is one which:
- investigates all (reasonable) aspects, both positive and negative, of the problem;
- places the topic in the context of other work;
- specifies and acknowledges all help received in designing the project and all sources of information, in conducting experiments, fieldwork, measurement, constructions, or the exhibit itself, preparing photographs, typing, photocopying, diagrams etc., or with ideas and suggestions;
- identifies the results of previous research and/or practice, revealed by reading around the topic or by conducting interviews;
- cites literature searched and all sources of supporting data;
- identifies sources of error and eliminates or makes allowances for them;
- carries out repeated experiments, field studies, measurements or other investigations over an appropriate period of time, in many different situations, with numerous examples, or with a variety of variables;
- repeats all observations, measurements or readings until consistent accuracy is obtained;
- keeps detailed and methodical records, and offers these in a log book or diary;
- makes an exhaustive and detailed analysis (including tests of significance) and portrayal of the results and data obtained;
- exhibits close attention to detail in the construction and presentation of the project: graphics, lettering, models, displays etc.