The primary purpose of all writing assignments will be to strengthen students' critical thinking and written communication skills. Successful statisticians must combine knowledge of statistical theory and application with the ability to convey concepts and defend results to non-statisticians. Two Major Reports; one revision each after peer review of first draft; five typed pages each draft (first and final) + one page peer review = 11 typed pages total per report (22 typed pages total both reports); plus oral presentations to class. Instructor will evaluate final revisions and oral presentations. These assignments will educate the students in evaluating and writing technical and scientific papers, providing constructive feedback to others, and clearly communicating statistical ideas and arguments both orally and in writing. 1 - Find two published studies on the same research question which report conflicting findings. You must locate the primary sources (original professional or scientific journal article with the researchers as authors). Identify the research question and explain its importance. For each of the two studies, report and evaluate the data collection methods, the statistical analyses, and the results and conclusions as reported. After critically reviewing the two studies, using sound statistical reasoning, write your own conclusion summarizing the validity of each of the two studies. 2 - Investigate a specific research question of relevance to your professional field of interest or personal life. Design and conduct an experiment that addresses the question, analyze the results, and reach a conclusion. Write a scientific report (in the form of a journal article) including Title, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. 4-6 Short Reports, 2-3 with one revision, two typed pages each draft = 12-18 typed pages total. Instructor will evaluate all drafts. Examples: Report on a statistical colloquium; report on a consultation meeting with campus researchers; report on a media story, critiquing the statistical methods and conclusions; prepare resume and cover letter. 6-8 In-Class Writing Assignments, over readings provided in advance or prompts integrating material previously covered in class. Writing Journal, 12+ weekly entries, 1-2 handwritten pages each = 12-24+ handwritten pages total. Instructor will evaluate. Students will find examples in the media of research conclusions, investigate their sources and validity, and provide a personal assessment.
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