"Effect" vs. "Affect"
At least 50% of projects entered in the Science and Engineering Fair always seem to get it wrong when using "effect" and "affect" in their reports and (worse yet!) in big letters on their poster titles. It's the most common mistake made on project posters and doesn't make a very good impression with the judges. So, let's review...
"Effect" is most commonly used as a noun to refer to the consequence or result of some activity. The project title, "The Effects of Eating Ice Cream Too Fast," uses "effects" as a noun to refer to the result of eating ice cream too fast (the activity).
"Affect" is most commonly used as a verb to describe a change to something else. For instance, the project title, "Eating Ice Cream Too Fast Can Affect Your Brain," uses "affect" as the verb describing a change to "your brain." Notice the presence of the helper verb "can" just before "affect"? Big clue as to whether to use a noun or verb here!
Yes, there are some exceptions; but only in rare cases and not likely to show up in your project title. Remember, if you need a noun, use "effect." If you need a verb, "affect" is the one. (Hint: If you're not sure, ask an English teacher. They've all promised not to bite!)
'Got it! I'm ready for a quiz!
Good Luck! We hope the effect of all of your good work on your project will be to affect the judges' deliberations in a positive manner.