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Research Projects in Statistics

#### Preface...… ix

To the student
To the instructor
Acknowledgments

#### Overview...… 1

1.1 Motivation for the project…... 1
Emphasis is shifting toward real data
Projects allow hands-on experiences
1.2 Schedule for the project...… 2
Course schedule
Project schedule

#### Group Communication...… 5

2.1 Purpose of the communication plan...… 5
Group dynamics
Uses of the communication plan
2.2 Contents of the communication plan...… 6
Information content
Planning content

#### Project Ideas...… 8

3.1 Purpose of the list of ideas...… 8
Start on the right track
3.2 Generating research questions...… 9
Involve the entire group
Talk to experts
Use the Internet
Consider what will be recorded
Is the question describing, comparing, or relating?
3.3 Requirements for the research project...… 11
Everyone needs to be able to participate
There must be sampling
No opinion surveys
No duplicates
3.4 Example of a list of ideas...… 12
Example

#### The Research Proposal...… 14

4.1 Purpose of the research proposal...… 14
Always begin with a plan
Be specific
Be complete
Be flexible
4.2 Contents of the research proposal...… 15
Good writing is essential
Required elements
4.3 Examples of research proposals...… 18
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon

#### Data Collection...… 23

5.1 Purpose of the data collection stage...… 23
Real data
5.2 Characteristics of good dataIntegrity...… 24
The meaning of integrity
Does the sample represent the population?
Do the variables relate to the issues?
5.3 Characteristics of good dataAccuracy...… 25
The meaning of accuracy
Counting
Measuring devices
Survey instruments
5.4 Collecting the data...… 26
Everyone must be involved
Use randomness to select the sample
Be courteous at all times
5.5 The data collection report...… 27
The data must be collected by the deadline
The process is the important part
5.6 Examples of data collection...… 28
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon

#### Data Analysis...… 32

6.1 Purpose of the data analysis...… 32
Randomness gives us the ability
6.2 Types of data analysis...… 32
Use the right tool
Is the question describing, comparing, or relating?
6.3 Preparing the data for analysis...… 33
Identify the variables
Organize the information into rows and columns
Use code numbers if necessary
6.4 Examples of data analysis...… 35
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon

#### Presenting the Results...… 41

7.1 The overall presentation...… 41
Purpose of the final presentation
Elements of the final presentation
7.2 The oral presentation...… 42
Purpose of an oral presentation
Elements of an oral presentation
Style issues for the oral presentation
7.3 The written report...… 44
Purpose of a written report
Elements of a written report
Style issues for the written report
7.4 Examples of written reports...… 45
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon

#### Comments on Student Examples...... 54

8.1 Comments on the list of ideas...… 54
8.2 Comments on the research proposals...… 55
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon
8.3 Comments on the data collection...… 57
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon
8.4 Comments on the written reports...… 59
Example A - After-school programs in Nebraska City
Example B - Seeds in watermelon