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General Guidelines for Projects

General Guidelines for Projects - General Guidelines for...

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General Guidelines for Projects in Econ 150 The Projects in ECON 150 set it apart from most other introductory courses in statistics. They offer an opportunity to use the statistical ideas creatively to explore topics of interest to you. Because you are working in Excel, you have powerful tools both to explore your evidence statistically and to present your analysis in an effective way. Topic The choice of topic matters. Do something original and clever. Issues can be personal, drawn from your own life, or address broader issues. Many students observe price or other information on the World Wide Web. Some students conduct interviews to gather data. In the later projects in the course, published data from the library or World Wide Web are better. The introduction to your project will describe the topic and explain why you are interested in it. Introduction Think of what your reader will see on opening your project. Write a compelling introduction to sell interest in your idea. The introduction should motivate the topic. For example, you might explain how you came to be interested in the topic. Perhaps you will relate the topic to a policy issue. What is it that you expect to learn? State a hypothesis that may be confirmed or refuted by the project. Explain why you think your hypothesis might be true. You might use your knowledge of economics or your sense of what makes things happen in the setting you are studying as the basis for your hypothesis. Your reasoning here will help sell interest in your study. Literature Compare your method and results to similar investigations reported elsewhere if possible. The Heard Library offers use of a number of electronic indices that may identify studies on many issues you might study. Here is the URL for links to databases. http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/heard/edatabases.shtml scholar.google.com links to academic literature in many disciplines. EconLit is the premier tool for access to what economists have written. ProQuest provides access to a more popular literature including magazines and newspapers. PAIS indexes a wide range of documents on most policy issues. A second paragraph or two in your project introduction will describe briefly how others have explored the issue and how your project differs. For more information on the economics literature, please see: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA/students/Econliterature.htm
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