Carefully read Chapter 12 of the Greenlaw text “Communicating the Results of a Research Project” (pp. 231-‐250, as well as any other chapters that are relevant. Write a complete draft of the report on your research project that includes all of the sections listed in the outline below.
Abstract – 1 paragraph Write this last, after you have finished the rest of your draft. It should be no longer than 250 words. It should just include a clear statement of your research question, a brief description of the data and the method you used to test your hypothesis, and a summary of your key findings.
Introduction – 1-‐3 paragraphs Begin by introducing the background and facts necessary to motivate the reader’s interest in reading your report. Provide context. Be sure to include a clear statement of your research question. Extend and revise from your proposal, incorporating any feedback.
Literature Review – approximately 5-‐6 paragraphs Provide a brief summary of the major work done on your research topic and question. Again, extend and revise from your Proposal, incorporating any feedback.
Theoretical Argument – anywhere from 1-‐4 paragraphs The length of your argument will vary depending on the nature of your research project. Some projects have a straightforward explanation that can be covered in as short as a single paragraph. Others will take longer. In any case, present a well-‐reasoned theoretical argument for why you believe the cause and effect relationship implicit in your research question to be true. Use the tools of analysis we covered in Assignment 4 and apply them to your own research hypothesis. 2 Concentrate on explaining why your hypothesis is true. Identify any important factors that would cause your hypothesis to be true.
Research Hypothesis and Empirical Model – approximately 2-‐3 paragraphs Begin with a verbal statement of your research hypothesis that follows logically from your theoretical argument. Next, write out an equation for a specific regression model. List only the most important independent variables that are directly related to your research hypothesis. Define each variable in words in text below the equation. Finally, state the exact formal statistical hypothesis test that will form the basis of the empirical test of your research hypothesis. You should include both a null and an alternative hypothesis about the sign of your most important regression parameter(s). Next week, we will be going over how to write up this section in class, and I will post additional information on iLearn at that time.
Data & Variable Description – approximately 1-‐2 paragraphs Describe your data source(s) and discuss each of the particular variables you will use to test your hypothesis. See below for further details. Provide a table of summary statistics (means and standard deviations for continuous variables; percentages for dummy variables) for all variables used in your regression work. Next week, we will be going over how to write up this section in class, and I will post additional information on iLearn at that time.
Empirical Test – anywhere from 3-‐6 paragraphs Discuss your regression results, paying particular attention to the sign, size, and statistical significance of the variable(s) relevant to your research hypothesis. Discuss, at least in passing, the effects of important control variables as well. Provide a table of regression results for the regression(s) you discuss in the section. In two weeks, we will be going over how to write up this section in class, and I will post additional information on iLearn at that time.
Conclusion – 1 paragraph Return to a higher level of generality and briefly restate your research hypothesis and indicate if your findings were in support of it or not. Discuss any limitations in your data or analysis that might cast doubt on your findings. Suggest further lines of inquiry for future research.
Reference List On a separate page, provide a list in alphabetical order of all articles cited and discussed in your draft. Use the Chicago-‐style, author (date) format as in Assignments 3 and 5 and the Proposal. After each citation, provide the abstract from EconLit (or the first several paragraphs of the introduction if there is no abstract.
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