Research Report of a Survey Experiment

PR2000 – Assignment 2
2020-2021
Research Report of a Survey Experiment
During the Spring term, we are going to discuss how to design, implement and analyse the results from
a survey experiment. The assessment for this part of the course involves writing a brief research report
(2,000 words) describing this work (details below). This word count does NOT include the title page,
bibliography, or appendix.
The assignment must be submitted on Turnitin This assignment will be worth 25% of the final mark.
It is important that you attend every class during this term as we will be going over each section of
the research report in the seminars.
Assessment:
We will use the step marking scheme consistent with your other modules. For more info on the
marking scheme, please see the UG Handbook or the PR2000 course outline. Please refer to the
Undergraduate Student Handbook for departmental policy on an essay submission, rules for word count,
late penalties, and plagiarism.
This is not a normal essay; it will consist of five distinct sections. Those sections are: 1) Intro and
theoretical expectations, 2) Experimental design, 3) Sample, 4) Analysis, and 5) Reflection. Below, you
will find additional information about each of the five sections. For each section, you’ll see examples
of information to include in your answers. Ideally, your answers would very concisely and directly
address as much of this information as possible. Of course, we know that you have a word limit to deal
with, and you cannot write about EVERYTHING. You will be assessed on the amount of (correct) detail
you can provide within the confines of the word limit.
Organising your report:
The research report must consist of the following elements. Please note that the word counts provided
are general guidelines and not strict limits. We encourage you to write each section separately with
subheadings, rather than organising the report as a single essay.
 Title page (not included in word count)
More information on the title page can be found on the PR2000 Moodle page.
 Introduction and theoretical expectations (approx. 500 words)
Briefly describe your research question, and provide a brief justification for why it is important
to study. Then draw on existing literature and explain the ONE hypothesis you wish to test. Be
sure to include multiple citations for each hypothesis and reference them in your bibliography.
 Experimental design (approx. 500 words)
Describe the experimental setup. This section should include the following information:
 What is your dependent variable, and how did you measure it?
 Is a between-subjects design, or a within-subjects design?
 Briefly describe your treatments
 What is your control condition?
 Where does your treatment stand in the trade-off between internal and
external validity?
 Sample (approx. 200 words)
Describe your sample. Be sure to address the following points:
 What is your target population?
 What is your sample population?
 How many observations do you have?
 How did you assign people to experimental conditions?
 Discuss the representativeness of your sample and how much that
representativeness affects the validity of your experiment
 Analysis (approx. 400 words)
Use regression analysis to show the average treatment effects of your experiment on your
dependent variable. Report the results in a table AND/OR dot and whisker plot
Points to address when explaining your results:
 What is the mean value of your dependent variable(s) in the control group?
(Interpret what the means using real words, not just numbers.)
 What are the effects of the treatments? (Interpret the effects using real
words, not just numbers.)
 If more than one treatment, which treatment appears to have had the
largest effect in terms of magnitude?
 Which treatments (if any) have significant effects?
 What do these findings tell us in substantive terms?
 Do your findings support your hypothesis?
 Reflection (approx. 400 words)
Reflect on your experience. What went well? What did not go so well? Is there anything you
would do different next time?
 This section should focus on METHODOLOGICAL POINTS, such as your
measurement of key variables, your questionnaire structure, your
experimental design, your control and treatment conditions, and your
sample.
 PLEASE DO NOT WRITE ABOUT YOUR TOPIC, YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION,
OR YOUR HYPOTHESES HERE.
 Bibliography (not included in word count)
Include a full bibliography of all works cited. Please follow the departmental style guide:
https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/documents/pdf/pirreferencingguide.pdf
 Appendix (not included in word count)
You MUST attach:
o Your questionnaire (including your experimental conditions)
o All R code necessary to replicate your analysis