For the final project, you are to analyze a dataset and write up your results in a brief report (no longer than 10 pages). The project is intended to be an application of the skills you have learned in this course in a less structured setting than in an exam or a problem set. The steps required for the project include obtaining data, conducting the statistical analysis, and writing up your findings.
I. Obtaining Data: If you have already have a dataset that you wish to analyze, then you may use that dataset for the final project. If you do not have a dataset, then you are free to analyze one of the datasets used in the problem sets or lectures that are posted on the course website.
II. Conducting the Analysis: The statistical analysis need not be exhaustive given the short length of the report. However, your analysis should be appropriate to your research question and the structure of the data. For example, you should graph a categorical variable with a bar graph or pie chart, not with a density plot or box plot.
III. Writing the Report: After conducting your analysis, you need to write up your results in a paper no longer than 10 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt font, including tables and graphs. You do not need to include citations in your paper, since the goal is for you to learn how to conduct and report results from a data analysis rather than write a literature review.
The text of your report should follow this format, with recommended page lengths and a brief description of what is expected:
Abstract (50-300 words): Very short summary of the data, methods, and results
Introduction (no more than 1 page): Briefly outline your research question and your reasons for conducting the analysis.
Data and Methods (no more than 1-2 pages): Describe your dataset, including the number and type of observational units in addition to the types of variables used in the analysis. In addition, outline and explain the statistical techniques you are conducting.
Results (approximately 3-5 pages): Present your findings from the data analysis using relevant tables and graphs. Make sure to explain your results clearly rather than simply cut-and-pasting tables or graphs.
Conclusion (approximately 1-2 pages): Summarize your main findings, briefly describe the weaknesses of your analysis, and outline implications for future research.
Grading Criteria: The total grade will be based on 100 points. You will be evaluated on the clarity of your writing and presentation of findings, the effective and appropriate use of statistical tools, and the overall organization of the report. You will not be graded on your actual findings. For example, you will not be penalized (or rewarded) if your findings are “statistically significant.” The objective of the final project is to help you learn how to apply and report the statistical methods discussed in this course.
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