SHORT PROJECTS

Format for Statistics Short Projects

Deceptive Graph
Collect an example from a newspaper or magazine in which a graph has been presented in a potentially deceptive manner. Identify the source from which the graph was taken, explain briefly the ways in which the graph might have been deceptively presented, and then redraw the graph so that it is less distorted or a better representation of the data. An original or Xerox copy of the graph must be included with the project.
Data Collection
Through observation or experimentation, collect a sample of quantitative data from a population. Obtain at least 40 values. Try to select data from an interesting or meaningful population. The project should include the following components.
  • An introduction to the project. Be sure the purpose of the project is included in the introduction. 
  • Describe the nature of the data. That is, what do the values represent. To complete this project, the data must be quantitative in nature. 
  • Describe the method used in collecting the data (This means what type of sampling or selection process was used.) 
  • Explain possible reasons why the data might not be representative of the population? That is, what are some possible sources of bias or error?
  • Find the value of each of the following: sample size, minimum, maximum, mean, median, range, standard deviation, variance, and the values Q1 and Q3. 
  • Construct a frequency table, stem and leaf plot, box and whiskers plot, histogram, and any other graph that might be appropriate. 
  • Write, in paragraph form, any conclusions or inferences that can be made from an analysis of your data. Remember to site your graphs or statistics as reasons for your conclusions. When analyzing your charts and statistics, please cut and paste all your graphs so that they appear with the analysis.
  • You might want to separate your data into two groups for comparison purposes such as males/females, freshmen/sophomores, etc.
Writing a Questionnaire 
Pick a topic of interest to you and write a questionnaire that contains about ten items about this topic. Give the questionnaire to three different people and have them complete it. After getting feedback from these people, reword and edit the questions. Then pick a random sample of 50 people from an appropriate population and have them answer the questions. Analyze and summarize the results. Can you make any inferences from your results? Did you feel that your results were biased in any way, and if so, why? If you were to repeat this survey, how would you change your procedure(s). Explain how you picked your random sample.
Research Study Analysis
Pick a research article out of a magazine, journal, textbook, or other source and write (one or two page, typed, double spaced) an analysis of how the study was done. This is to be an analysis, not just a summary of the article. The following is what is to be included in the analyses: abstract (this is what the study was about), methods the author used for data collection and analysis, and conclusion. Also, include a complete bibliography of the source article. (Enclose a copy of the article.) 

At the end of the analysis, please write a summary paragraph on the design of the experiment or study and the conclusions of the author(s). In this paragraph you are to comment on whether you thought the authors had good experimental design and whether the authors seemed to make valid conclusions from their work. Any additional remarks should be put in this paragraph.

 
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