Group projects: expectations

Students are expected to perform (and write up the results for) a data analysis using state-of-the-art analytical methods. The write-up will loosely take the format of a scientific paper to be submitted to a professional journal. However, because of the nature of this course, the most important pieces of the write-up are the methods and results sections. Nonetheless, I expect at least a few paragraphs introducing the topic and why it’s important, and a few paragraphs discussing the implications of the results. The methods and results section can (and in many cases should) be much longer than you typically see in a scientific paper- don’t feel constrained by space for these sections! Not that you need to be wordy, I just want to make sure you have the space to clearly explain the analyses you performed and why you made the choices you did!

Here is a more detailed description of expectations for the final group project:

Introduction: Provide enough description so that the reader understands why the research is important and (if appropriate) what research question(s) and/or hypotheses are being addressed. (approx. 3 paragraphs)

Methods:

  • Provide just enough details about the data collection to give the reader the context necessary to understand the data.
  • Provide plenty of detail about the analytical approach- enough detail to fully replicate the analysis. Justify all decisions that were made and (where appropriate) discuss why you did not use alternative approaches.
  • Discuss key analytical assumptions.
    NOTE: This section can be longer than the methods section of a standard manuscript.

Results: Present all relevant results completely and concisely. Wherever possible, results should be presented via figures and tables. There is a limit of 5 figures and 3 tables, so choose carefully which figures and tables to present. Figures should be publication quality.

Discussion: Write at least three paragraphs that put the results in a larger context (returning to the key research questions) and discuss areas of uncertainty. Potential topics are possible violations of assumptions, and future work that your analysis suggests would be profitable.

Supplement Provide all code used to run the analyses presented in the paper as an R script.

Picking a topic

Your final project should not be part of your thesis. That said, there is no requirement that your final project is not relevant to your graduate thesis project. You will end up spending quite a bit of time on your final projects, so think about what types of analyses you want/need to get to know better- ideally something that may strengthen your thesis project.

Picking a dataset

You are not required to use a public dataset, but there are lots of great datasets out there… see links page

Group project overview (1 page, due 9/24)

Please provide a 1-page project description. Make sure you include:

  • Project title
  • Participant names
  • Participant roles (brief description of how you plan to divide the tasks up)
  • Brief background (motivation for research question)
  • Research question(s)
  • Primary and ancillary data sources
  • Anticipated analytical approach

Group project oral presentations (in class, 12/10)

Each group will have 15 minutes allotted for group presentations, with a few minutes for questions.

A simple presentation rubric can be found here

Please provide a copy of your final presentation (e.g., PPTx file).

Group project final draft (due Fri 12/6)

Group project final paper (due Wed 12/18)

The written paper should be structured as a scientific paper:

Introduction: Provide enough description so that the reader understands why the research is important and (if appropriate) what question(s) are being addressed.

Methods:

  • Provide just enough details about the data collection to give the reader the context necessary to understand the data.
  • Provide plenty of detail about the analytical approach- enough detail to fully replicate the analysis. Justify all decisions that were made and (where appropriate) discuss why you did not use alternative approaches.
  • Discuss key analytical assumptions.
    NOTE: This section can be longer than the methods section of a standard manuscript.

Results: Present all relevant results completely and concisely. Wherever possible, results should be presented via figures and tables. There is a limit of 5 figures and 3 tables, so choose carefully which figures and tables to present. Figures should be publication quality.

Discussion: Write at least three paragraphs that put the results in a larger context (returning to the key research questions) and discuss areas of uncertainty. Potential topics are possible violations of assumptions, and future work that your analysis suggests would be profitable.
Code Provide all code used to run the analyses presented in the paper as an R script.