Concepts, Theories, and Inquiry in Science

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We need paper towels that are more powerful, absorbent, and won't ever leave lint trails when we use them to clean up spills or de-streak windows. To determine which paper towel brands had the highest capacity for absorption, various experts from The Good Housekeeping Research Institute Textile labs conducted tests on the major paper towel brands, including those created with recycled materials, which produced a range of results (Miller, et al., 2014). As a result, this paper will conduct an experimental study on the capacity for absorption of various paper towel brands. In our daily activities such as household chores or workplace activities, we often encounter regular liquid spills that necessitate items like paper towels. Therefore, different industries have come up with various brands of paper towels based on the absorbency levels, which vary according to the brand (Miller, et al., 2014). For that reason, consumers choose the paper towel that has a higher absorbency level compared to others. Moreover, the level of absorbency can be determined by several mechanisms used by many manufacturers. As a result, consumers have a challenge of selecting a paper towel with high absorbent ability among other brands available for them.

Relevance of the testable question

The relevance of the testable question in this experiment owes to the fact that in our daily life, we use the absorbent towel papers without having knowledge about the ones with the highest absorbency ability. Therefore, it is relevant to carry out the quantitative experiment to know the towel paper with the highest absorbency ability (Consumer Reports Magazine, 2011).

Literature review

According to Capannelli, Comite, Costa, & Di Felice (2013), the types of absorbent papers, computer papers, paper towel, and papers from notebook are manufactured from plant fibers. Even though plant fibers are used to make different types of papers, paper towels have the highest ability of absorbency. As a result of the process of making the paper towel and the mechanism used to manufacture and develop it, it is considered to be having the highest absorbency ability compared to others.

Moreover, according to the Consumer Reports Magazine, (2011), the paper sheets in the manufacturing paper industries have a loose woven design that allows water or liquid spills to travel in fibers with ease. Besides, the trimming and creping processes are carried out on the paper sheets to make the papers appear quilted. Furthermore, some chemicals such as resin are added to the paper sheets when wet for increasing the strength of the towels during manufacturing. However, different paper manufacturers of paper towel brands use different methods and mechanisms for making paper towels, which makes the paper towels to vary in their absorbency ability.

Steps in the experimental procedure

The paper tower brands were cut into equal sizes folded and inserted in the beakers. 160mm of water was the added to soak them up. They were then removed and the water squeezed in an empty beaker. Therefore, for the purpose of understanding the absorbent ability as an independent variable, the amount of water that can be squeezed through each paper towel brand will be recorded. Millimeters will be used as a constant unit of measurement.

Reason for choosing experimental design plan

The choice of my experimental design will ensure the objectivity of the experiment is achieved with concrete results. Moreover, the experimental design will identify dependent and independent variables of the experiment to make sure the objective is achieved. Besides, the experimental design will outline the experimental constants that will guide the researcher when undertaking the experiment.

The sequence of events used to collect quantitative data.

The sequence of quantitative data collection used in this experiment include identifying the opportunities for collecting data. Moreover, selecting opportunities and set goals is an important sequence of event in data collection. The next event is to plan an approach and methods.

In order to justify this assumption, the data needed will be numerical, which can be ordered and measured. Therefore, the quantitative experimental method seems to be the most suitable mechanism for justification, which can be done with the collected data. The research will identify paper towel brands and subject them to treatment for the purpose of obtaining numerical data that can be statistically analyzed. For that reason, this research will make use of laboratory equipment and reagents such as beakers, water, measuring cylinders and stopwatch.

Tools, Technologies & Measurement Units

In this experiment, laboratory tools will be used. These tools include water, measuring cylinders, beakers, pens, stopwatch, and a notebook. The purpose of stopwatch will be to ensure that each paper towel brand utilizes equal time interval. Moreover, the measuring cylinders will ensure proper and accurate measurement of the water squeezed through each paper towel brand; thus, a foundation of adequacy and integrity will be formed. The most important tools that will be needed are statistical tools such as bar graphs in organizing the data collected and giving a proper and concrete conclusion on the experiment.


According to this experimental design, the independent variables will be of Scott Paper Towel, Sparkle Paper Towel, Great Value Paper Towel, and CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel. Consequently, the dependent variables will be the absorbency ability. Moreover, the initial amount of water and the quantity of the paper towel will be kept constant, hence termed as controlled variables since they will not change throughout the experiment

Threat Reduction to Internal Validity

In every experiment, there must be some threats that reduce the internal validity. Therefore, even though the aim of this experiment is to justify the absorbency ability of different paper towel brands; there exist some factors that may act as threats to its internal validity. For instance, poorly calibrated measuring cylinders and faulty stopwatch that may interfere with the results. That is, poorly calibrated measuring cylinders may affect the volume of the water measured, and the faulty stopwatches may affect facilitate poor timing of the experiment. Furthermore, some of the paper towels may not be good to in soaking up water but can do that best in other liquids. Such paper towel brands can affect the internal validity of the experiment, provided that the main detergent in this experiment is water. Therefore, to reduce these threats, a proper counter check of a good stopwatch and a correctly calibrated measuring cylinder will be done before the beginning of the experiment. Moreover, an inquiry will be done from the manufacturers to be certain that the paper towel brands have chosen are excellent in soaking up water.


The hypothesis of this experiment is “CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brands have the highest absorbency ability.”


Different paper towel manufacturers make paper towel brands with different levels of absorbency. Therefore, to justify the hypothesis, we will use quantitative mechanisms, and in this particular case, we are going to use experimental mechanism. Moreover, it is an assumption that the absorbency level is not constant in all brands. Therefore, according to the hypothesis, different manufacturers of different paper towel brands do not use a uniform method to design and manufacture the paper towels that leads to the variance in their absorbency ability. Since this is an assumption, a quantitative data collection will be conducted through carrying out laboratory experiment to justify this assumption.

Process of Data Collection

Purpose of data collection

The purpose of data collection is to determine whether different paper towel brands vary in the absorbency ability.

Materials needed.

Scott Paper Towel, Sparkle Paper Towel, Great Value Paper Towel, and CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel

A minimum of two calibrated measuring cylinders or graduated beakers


A pen and a notebook

Two liters of water


One thirty centimeters ruler.

Procedure or process of data collection

On the notebook, create a sheet for data recording with two columns. In the first column, indicate paper towel brand, in the second column, indicate the results for absorbency level.

Brands of Absorbency Paper Towel

Absorbency Results

Volume 1

Volume 2

Average Volume

Scott Paper Towel

Sparkle Paper Towel

Great Value Paper Towel

CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel

Measure exactly 160 millimeters of water using a calibrated measuring cylinder and put it in the graduated beaker.

Cut a piece of brand one paper towel and fold, and then insert it in the beaker.

Immediately after inserting the cut piece in the beaker, start the stop watch and remove the paper towel after 45 seconds.

From the soaked piece of paper towel, immediately squeeze the possible amount of water in the calibrated measuring cylinder using a funnel and record the volume in the table created.

Repeat this procedure two more times for Scott Paper Towel and find the average volume of the squeezed water.

Repeat this procedure for each of the three paper towel brands, Sparkle Paper towel Great Value Paper Towel, and CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel and record their average volume of squeezed water in each column.


Brands of Absorbency Paper Towel

Absorbency Results

Volume 1

In (mm)

Volume 2

In (mm)

Average Volume

In (mm)

Scott Paper Towel




Sparkle Paper Towel




Great Value Paper Towel




CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel




After recording the average volume of the squeezed water from each brand on the data sheet created, use a bar graph to plot the data. Let the independent variables, different brands be on the x-axis and the independent variable, the average volume be on the y-axis. The bar graph will be as shown below.

Discussion of appropriate methods used in data collection

The quantitative data collection depends on the random sampling of data as well as organized data collection instruments that best fit the experiment. These data collection methods produce results that are comparable, easy to generalize and summarize (Creswell, 2013). Moreover, quantitative experimental research focuses on testing hypothesis resulting from theory or rather having a capability of estimating the size of a phenomenon that one has interest in.

Reliant on the question of research, the researcher randomly assigns different treatments. However, this may not be feasible at times and the researcher need to collect data for the purpose of statistically controlling the influence of the outcome, and the variable. Therefore, different methods of data collection may be used in collecting data depending on the type of experiment the researcher is carrying out. In this experimental research, the data quantitative data was collected through carrying out experiments and recording on a paper sheet (Creswell, 2013). Moreover, observation method was used to determine the volume of the water that was squeezed inside the beakers. These two methods of data collection ensured concrete results were recorded on the recording sheet.

Explanation of the results

According to the experiment carried out, CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brand has the highest absorbency ability of 141mm, followed by Great Value Paper Towel brand, which has 118mm. The next brand is Scott Paper Towel with an absorbency ability of101mm. Sparkle Paper Towel brand has the least absorbency ability of 89mm.

This experiment, therefore, justified the hypothesis that CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brand has the highest absorbency ability. Poor timing and poor calibrated measuring cylinders may have caused these variations in the volume of the brands, and these are the reason for carrying out the experiment two times to get the average volume in millimeters.


From the quantitative experiment conducted, the CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brand recorded the highest volume of squeezed water. The reason is that CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brand was manufactured using a highly loose plant fiber; thus, it was more woven. Moreover, the sheets of CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel brand had a large quilt that resulted from trimming and creping process in the manufacturing site, thus, having the highest absorbency ability. Consequently, among the four brands in the experiment, CVS Big Quilts Paper Towel, Great, Value Paper Towel, Scott Paper Towel, and Sparkle Paper Towel in that order had the highest absorbency ability. Therefore, it is confirmed that the hypothesis given is true and cannot be rejected.

Experimental Design as Key Factor

According to Curtis, et al., (2015), the experimental design of any scientific experiment is critical when obtaining a variable data in regard to the hypothesis studied from theory work. Therefore, in this scientific experimental research, the experimental design that has been used has played a major role in facilitating the objectivity of the experiment, thus, eluding distractions.


Furthermore, some other scholars may carry out a repeat of this experiment using some other brands. When other scholars carry out replication in an experiment, a considerable confidence on the results of the experiment is added. Moreover, it acts as a justification that the previous experiment carried out were valid and that there were no fluke in the statistical results obtained from the previous experiment. Besides, replication is common and scholars usually carry out similar experiments, but with little changes.

Evaluation of Validity

If the experiment repeated yields the same results, then the validity of the experiment will be rejected; otherwise, the validity of the experiment will be achieved. Repeating the experiment with other brands will be helpful in the assessment of the internal validity that is confirmed by the difference or the similarities of the results.


Capannelli, G., Comite, A., Costa, C., & Di Felice, R. (2013). Effect of absorbent type and concentration on CO2 capture from a gas stream into a liquid phase. Industrial \& Engineering Chemistry Research, 52(36), 13128--13136.

Consumer Reports Magazine. (2011, February 11). Retrieved from Bounty, Walgreens and CVS Clean Up in CR Paper Towel Test:

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

Curtis, M. J., Bond, R. A., Spina, D., Ahluwalia, A., Alexander, S., Giembycz, M. A., . . . Izzo, A. A. (2015). Experimental design and analysis and their reporting: new guidance for publication in BJP. British journal of pharmacology, 172(14), 3461--3471.

Miller, I., Albert, E., Spragg, R., Antico, F., Ashraf, W., Barrett, T., . . . Tian, Q. (2014). Determining the moisture content of pre-wetted lightweight aggregate: Assessing the variability of the paper towel and centrifuge methods.

April 13, 2023

Life Education



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House Cleanliness Study

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