Come up with a hypothesis based on previous observations or information. A hypothesis is a predictive statement that is testable and falsifiable. It is not a question. This task is easier if it pertains to a topic of interest to you that you want to know how or why. You then need to decide how to test your hypothesis. The accumulation of data can take many forms including observations and measurements, survey documents, record reviews, etc. If you are testing a particular variable, be careful to identify other possible variables and control for them. You will also need a control group if you are comparing populations or testing the effect of something on a population, whether it is mineral, plant or animal. After you have accumulated sufficient data, having reached a preset time frame, or number count, you will analyze that data to determine what conclusion you can draw from the data collected. You must use graphs and/or charts to graphically show data results as well as a narrative. The graphical displays will assist you in drawing your conclusion. Please be sure to add patterns to your graphs so that, if you must print on a black and white printer, I can still see the differences between the various parts of the graph. After the analysis of the data, you will be able to determine whether you have a conclusion that supports or refutes your hypothesis. This will be the final statement of the paper. An outline of your paper, which includes your hypothesis and methodology must be submitted no later than October 9th. This should be no longer than one page, typed, with a sample of your proposed survey document (if applicable) attached. The final research paper is due on the next to the last class of the semester. The format of the paper will be: Statement of your hypothesis and a very brief discussion of how you decided that there was merit to this particular subject as an area for investigation and what led you to choose to examine this particular topic. Discussion of the subject to be studied and the method employed to conduct the research. If you are using survey documents, a sample must be included. The sources of information must also be well documented. Research tools must also be clearly specified, e.g. don’t just say a ruler was used, specify whether it was a metric or linear ruler. Remember the experiment must be reproducible and your work must be original. Talk about problems that arose either in the accumulation of the data or in unexpected results that caused you to change your methodology. (This change will have occurred during the experiment, not before you settled on the topic of your experiment.) Data Analysis Analyze the data collected. If you have collected information on age and sex of respondents, make sure that you compare answers according to age and sex as well as any other parameters used in the survey. (More on survey experiments in class.) If you ask ten questions, each question should be purposeful and should give you data useful in supporting or refuting your hypothesis. Discuss the results of the research fully including graphs, pictures, and data tables as appropriate. Based on the data, draw a conclusion about the data. You may also have noticed a strong correlation in the data to something you may not have been testing. This serendipitous finding should be noted, though it is not necessary to go into further discussion in the paper. Conclusion Finally, you will state whether you believe the data analysis and the conclusion support or refute your hypothesis As noted in class, the research paper will be about ten pages long, not including attachments. It should be double spaced, with no larger than 1″ margins. A complete bibliography and footnotes are required and it must be grammar and spell checked! No names of surveyed persons are to appear on the surveys. If you intend to test humans, you must discuss your experiment with me beforehand. You will have the best chance of achieving the maximum number of points for your work if you remember the following: You must actually do an experiment or conduct a survey of no fewer than 100 respondents This is not a media, internet, or library search Do not research a topic and then report on that research in place of doing an experiment Experiments must be college level, not grade or high school level If you are having problems deciding on a topic or how to approach the experiment, come and talk to me or send me an e-mail as early as possible so that you don’t run out of time to complete the experiment and type up your results Chapter 1 in your text book talks about the scientific method. You should review the discussion before you write your outline for the paper.
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