For this report, you have to compile a brief report (1,000 words maximum, including graphs and tables) summarising the data provided on a topic. The report should summarise a maximum of two key points of your choice evident in the data. Each point needs to be supported with any of the following: graphs, descriptive statistics, hypothesis tests, correlation and regression analysis.
You should imagine you are working for a company, economic consultancy or government department and are asked to quickly provide a short report summarising an issue. The recipient wants a report that is concise, clear and covers the main issues accurately. You should assume that the recipient has little statistics training but can understand charts, averages, etc. The titles are deliberately a little vague â€“it is up to you to decide what the data tell you, the specific research questions to address, and what the report should contain. Refer to the excel file titled Project Assignments to see the project you have been assigned. You cannot change to another project.
Suggested structure of the report:
1. Introduction â€“what is the topic about? What do you think are the main issues? 2. Data â€“brief description of the data and any transformations you made. 3. Findings â€“highlight the key elements that the data reveal. You should limit yourself to two items and not try to describe everything in the data â€“remember the page limit. You should make full use of tables, charts, averages, etc, as you see fit, in order to explain your findings. The report should not look like an essay, that is, it should not be a long piece of text with facts in it. 4. Conclusions and limitations â€“this can be brief (since the report itself is brief).
Clarity: Is the report easy to read? Is it well presented? Is it suitable for the intended audience (i.e., neither full of statistical jargon nor too simplistic)?
Use of appropriate methods: Have the right sort of questions been asked? Have appropriate methods (e.g., a bar chart) been usedto support and illustrate the findings?
Are the results broadly correct? Are they convincing? Markers will not be carefully checking all the answers but will subtract marks for findings which are obviously wrong, or which are not properly justified. These three criteria will be approximately equally weighted. Only one overall mark will be given though comments might be given about, for example, shortcomings in clarity.
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