The Final Project provides you a means to explore a topic in depth, and to practice the skills you have developed this semester. You will use the scientific method (refer to Chapter 6: Research Design), a data set, and statistical analysis to answer a research question of your choice.

You are expected to acquire a data set, write a paper describing your project, share a presentation, and provide feedback to one other classmate. I have provided you with a content template for your paper and presentation, but please be creative and submit something unique. Below is a detailed description of the project and all required criteria.


The final project consists of four parts:

  1. Paper
  2. Statistics
  3. Presentation
  4. Peer feedback

1 Paper

A typed 5-7 page double-spaced paper which include references and in-text citations. Use APA formatting, or a style that is appropriate for your academic/professional field. Post this paper in the appropriate D2L discussion forum.

1.1 Paper content template

Your life will be infinitely easier if you use this template when constructing your paper. If you wish to go full RStudio and try the papaja if you wish. Beyond using APA formatting for your paper, citations, tables, and figures, your paper should have the following content sections:

1.1.1 Introduction

Provide information about a topic of interest, either related to the suggested Advanced Topics or something else you selected.

1.1.2 Review of the literature

Give more detailed information about your topic of interest and examples of previous research that has been conducted on your topic. What impact did this research have in helping further understand your topic AND/OR what further questions about your topic did these prior research findings create?

1.1.3 Research problem

Describe an area the needs to be further explored related to your topic of interest. State the research question that your statistical test can help answer.

1.1.4 Design

Give information about where your data set came from and explain what inferential statistical test you are going to use. Describe the study design and any relevant variables and scales. Leave no assumptions.

1.1.5 Results

Describe the relevant descriptive statistics, the outcome of your inferential statistical test, and be sure to include the variables in your description. Don’t rely on tables and figures to do the explaining for you.

1.1.6 Discussion

What are the implications of your results? Did they surprise you? Do they support or contradict prior research findings related to your topic?

1.1.7 References

Your list of Works Cited in APA style. Using a citation manager (either papaja as mentioned above or one of the managers listed on the resources page) is highly encouraged.

1.2 Statistics

Your project must provide at the very least descriptive statistics, correlations, and t-tests. You may substitute regression or ANOVA with t-tests if you prefer.

1.3 Presentation

Your presentation should be created with Adobe Spark and last about 3-5 minutes. This presentation should be placed in the Final Project Slack channel by the due date in D2L.

1.4 Peer Feedback

Provide constructive feedback to your assigned classmate. Use the Final Project rubric to identify areas of strength and improvement.


2 Where to start?

Confused or at a loss on how to get started? Consider the following:

  • What is my research project? What do I want to learn? What do I find interesting?
  • Where is my data coming from?
  • How will this data be analyzed?
  • How will I interpret my findings?
  • What are the implications and findings of my data?
  • What new insights or models of understanding does the data suggest?
  • How do I communicate what I have learned?

2.2 Example Topics

Here are examples of areas of interest to guide your projects. The ideas presented here are just that, ideas. Use these topics and units for inspiration or to propose a topic of your own to explore.

2.2.1 Social justice

Explore data and make conclusions about various aspects of society and their affects on various groups.

Possible topics include:

  • Incarceration rates by demographics, and crimes committed.
  • Education accomplishments (using data from NCES) compared with per student spending.

2.2.2 Privacy / ethics

Explore online data to understand the challenges we face in this connected world.

Possible topics include:

  • An exploration on the vaccine controversy that arose from the Wakefiled article published in the Lancet, which has since been retracted.
  • Read this article in the New York Times and consider a project exploring privacy data. Compile your online profile using public information. Try to objectively learn as much about yourself as possible.

2.2.3 Advanced data visualization

Explore forms of data visualization that draws conclusion on a given question. You should consider utilizing the software Tableau to help you complete this project.

Possible topics include:

  • The food “desert” is a sociological idea associated with parts of cities which do not have fresh food or groceries in a given radius. In this project, consider maps of cities superimposing locations of grocery stores and supermarkets, demographics, public transportation, and household income.

2.2.4 Predictive modeling

Aprocess that uses data mining and probability to forecast outcomes.

Possible topics include:

  • Can you predict your SAT score? Several variables aside from cognitive ability contribute to SAT scores are better predictors of SAT scores. Explore research articles on variables that correlate to SAT scores and see how well these variables can predict your scores. See if your actual SAT score can be predicted based on your high school records and family characteristics.

3 Rubric

Gateway requirements: a submitted PDF meets length requirement and uses correct APA formatting, both in-text and for references.

Criteria Does not meet Approaches Exceeds
Knowledge: Demonstrates full understanding of all of the topics and accurately applies concepts learned in the course. More than one original conclusion made or idea suggested. 0 6 12
Depth of Analysis: In-depth analysis and elaboration in all sections of the paper. Critical thinking is evident throughout. Supporting material is used accurately. Conflicting material or opinions are addressed satisfactorily.Conclusions are supported in the body of the paper. 0 6 12
Research: Study Design, Methods, Statistics (descriptives, correlations, & t-tests), and Results are all presentand correctly explained 0 6 12
Organization, Focus, Clarity: Writing is logically organized and tightly focused. Main ideas areclearly stated and supported with details. Information is on-topicand flows from one logically- presented, clearly explained topic to the next. 0 6 12
Presentation: Content is presented in a way that demonstrates understanding approaching mastry of the intersection between statistical tests and RMarkdown output. 0 6 12

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