|For your final project, you’ll analyze the survey data we collected for class and write a paper that reports your findings. The paper should include about 5 pages of text, and, in addition to these 5 pages, should also include graphs and tables (see below). The goals of this assignment are to (1) apply the ideas and tools we’ve discussed in class, and (2) find out what factors influence IU students’ opinions towards voting rights and felon disenfranchisement.
Your essay should include the following components:
1. An introduction, in which you explain what felon disenfranchisement is and describe at least two independent variables from the survey that you believe affect people’s attitudes toward this issue (as reflected by the variable vote, which will serve as your dependent variable). Explain how you believe these variables influence people’s opinions (whether they will lead people to be in favor of felon disenfranchisement or opposed to it, and why). Note: If you would like to use a different variable for your dependent variable, let me know ahead of time.
2. A research methods section, in which you explain the contents of the survey (the kinds of topics we asked about), how the survey was conducted, how large the sample is, and who was sampled.
3. A results section, in which you present:
a. Overall descriptive statistics (mean, median, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation) for the dependent variable (vote) and the two independent variables that you select. If your independent variable is discrete (e.g., gender), you should present frequencies instead of measures of central tendency (e.g., percent female and percent male).
b. A histogram, showing the distribution of the dependent variable. Describe the distribution—is it normal? Skewed? Bimodal? Are there outliers?
c. Using a graph or table, show and describe the relationship between the first independent variable and the vote variable.
d. Using a graph or table, show and describe the relationship between the second independent variable and the vote variable.
e. Using a graph or table, show and describe the relationship between two or more independent variables and the dependent variable. As an example: you might check to
see if the patterns you observed in part (c) differ for people from different racial/ethnic groups, for people who do and do not consume news on a regular basis, or for people from different regions of the country.
NOTE: Make sure that your tables and/or graphs are clean, professional, and easy to understand. This means that they should include all of the necessary design elements that we discussed in class (title, axis labels, good ink-to-data ratio, easy-to-read font, caption, etc.). Your reader should not have to refer to the body of the paper to make sense of your findings. For convenience, you should label your tables sequentially (e.g., “Figure 1: Histogram showing the distribution of…”) and then refer to them as such when discussing the results (e.g., “In Figure 1, I present a histogram showing…”). They should be placed after the text, at the end of the document.
4. A discussion/conclusion section, in which you:
a. Describe the overall conclusions of your study and their implications.
b. Discuss any limitations of the study, or ways to improve the study in the future. You may also discuss possible next steps (i.e., additional research questions that your findings raise and ways to explore them using the same or different data).
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