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What attributes affected student performance on a statistics pretest

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What attributes affected student performance on a statistics pretest


ECON 3811

Essay 1

Due 10/26 at 11:59pm

This essay will lead you through the process of describing a data set (descriptive statistics) as well as some very basic data analysis. Below you will find an outline for which the paper should follow. Under each section, there are some questions that should be answered. A strong essay will connect all the questions together to tell a comprehensive story about the data being studied and what results are obtained. You are not required to answer the questions for each section in any particular order and may find it easier to answer them in a different order than listed here. The paper should be double spaced and not exceed 3 pages. Any graphs and figures should be included at the end of the paper and do not count toward the page limit. Be sure to discuss the graphs in the paper to explain why you used them and what they are showing.


Research Question: What attributes affected student performance on a statistics pretest

Introduction: This section should briefly describe what is being studied. It should explain the paper topic, provide a brief description of the data, and highlight any major results or findings. (~.5 pages)

  1. This section should be written last!
  2. Briefly discuss the topic.
  3. Briefly discuss any findings. What questions did you seek to answer and did you find any differences?

Data: This section should describe the data you are using. Discuss how the data were collected and provide descriptive statistics of the most important variables. (~1 page)

  1. How many observations do we have?
  2. How were the data collected?
  3. Are the data a representative sample of the population being studied?
  4. What kinds of data (qualitative, quantitative, ordinal, nominal, discrete, etc.) are in the data set?
  5. Discuss at least one figure (graph or table) to help describe the data and include the figure in the graphs and figures section .

Results: This section should present the main results and the methods used to obtain them. Describe how you answered questions relevant to the paper topic and how you went about finding those answers. (~1-1.5 pages)

  1. Were there any questions that appear particularly difficult?
    1. Calculate the average number of correct answer for each question and compare
    2. Explain why you can take the average of this number, while you would not have been able to do so before modifying the data. In other words, why can you take the average of the correct answers when written as 1 or 0, but cannot take the average when the same data were in the form of what answer (A, B, C..) was chosen?
  2. What was the mean number of correct answers for the class?
  3. Was the mean number of correct answers different between the two classes?
    1. Calculate the mean for only those students in section 1 and compare that to section 2
  4. Was the mean number of correct answers different based on gender?
  5. Was the mean number of correct answers different based on whether or not the student has siblings?
  6. Was the mean number of correct answers different based on the students major?
  7. For questions 3-6, if the means are close to equal. Does this indicate the variable has an effect on the students score? Would you describe these variables as dependent or independent? Explain.
  8. Discuss at least one graph to help depict any relevant results (or lack of results if there were no differences) and include the graph in the graphs and figures section.

Graphs and figures

  1. Include any graphs you used to help answer the questions above.
  2. Be sure to reference the graphs in the sections you used them, but only include them here.
  3. Graphs may be done by hand, in Excel, or (preferably) using Stata. Regardless of how you create them, make sure you copy and paste them into the word document you submit to Canvas.


Grading Rubric




Complete: Fully answers all relevant questions correctly and explains them in detail.



Graphs and figures: Contains at least 2 figures and uses them to highlight important parts of the paper



Inclusion of statistics terminology: Correctly uses and defines statistics terminology to show an understanding of the concepts



Descriptive statistics: Correctly describes the data being used and clearly presents the information



Data analysis: Appropriately uses the data to answer the research question and clearly explains how the question was answered



Organized and well written: Uses proper sentence and paragraph structure and is organized in a logical way to inform the reader of the findings.




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