Assignment 3 – Data Analysis & Final Report

This assignment will involve analyzing survey data and writing a scientific style paper/report on
Sustainability on the UO Campus. Survey data collected by all ENV1101 students has been
compiled into one database for your analysis. Analysis will be limited to creating pivot tables
and graphs (demo given in class). Look at both counts (the number of respondents) and
percentages in your tables and graphs, and decide which makes the most sense to show. You are
asked to analyze your data in a way that responds to the questions below (there are many
different ways to use Excel to manipulate data and answer the questions – we suggest pivot
tables and sorting as basic functions, but feel free to explore other methods).
Page limit: 7 to 9 pages of double spaced text (standard font – Times New Roman 12). Number
your pages. Include your name, student number and e-mail address on the title page. Name your
file: Firstname_Lastname and submit as a pdf to Brightspace.
Due date: Thursday, November 28
th before midnight
Questions to Address in your Analysis (ONLY USE DATA COLUMNS
highlighted in GREEN)
1. How are respondents most likely to describe ‘sustainability’? (What type of issue is it?)
• Compare the question across the demographic factors and indicate how each cohort
described sustainability
• E.g. Science students predominantly saw sustainability as an environmental issue; Older
people predominantly saw sustainability as an economic issue
2. Which sustainability issues are respondents most concerned about in relation to the
campus? (5 = not concerned; 1 = very concerned)
• You will have to look at each column separately, and count how many people responded
‘1’, how many responded ‘2’ etc. for each one.
• You may want to determine what the most important issue was for each cohort (each
demographic group)
• E.g. Graduate students thought waste was the most important issue; People who live far
away from campus thought food scarcity was the most important issue
3. Should the University offer more sustainability content in its courses?
• Determine number/percentage of different responses.
NOTE: For questions 1-3:
a) Suggestion: use pivot tables for analysis (as demonstrated in class; also refer to the pivot
table instructions on Brightspace)
b) Use the demographic questions (data highlighted in YELLOW) as the comparison point:
• Faculty
• Age
• Role in the community
• Where you live
Updated October 25, 2019
2
4. Out of the list provided, what do respondents think the University should prioritize for its
corporate social responsibility over the next 5 years? Please choose up to three factors.
NOTE: For question 4:
a) *To keep this manageable, you are only required to use the first 300 responses for this
question (If you are super-keen, feel free to break down all 1600 responses!). Each response
contains 1-3 items. You will have to break out each of these items into separate columns (or
create one long column of the 900 responses) and count them up to figure out the top 3
responses.
b) You don’t need to cross-tabulate the information with the demographic data for this question.
How to write a scientific paper
Scientific style papers/reports contain the following sections, usually in this order:
 Introduction (including objectives) (~1 page)
 Methods (~ 1 page)
 Results (~ 2-3 pages of text plus any graphs and tables you wish to present)
 Discussion (~ 2-3 pages of text)
 Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
 References
 Recommendations (on separate page – max 1 page; bullet points)
**Use these sub-titles in your report to help your reader follow the content and flow of the report**
Introduction: The introduction sets out what the report is about and what its role is in relation to
other work in the field. Look at the sections on Sustainability in the textbook (Ch. 1 & 22) and use
the information to introduce the issue of sustainability on campus. You may want to address
questions like:
1. What is sustainability? Why is it important?
2. What are the solutions? How is it being addressed (e.g. in Canada/Ontario/Ottawa)?
3. How does the issue relate to university campuses? uOttawa campus?
4. What information is needed to develop effective policies?
Then, indicate where your study fits in (how it answers gaps in the literature): clearly state the aim
and objectives of this study (e.g. the main objectives of this study are to: (1)…..; and, (2)…..).
Objectives are usually found near the end of the introduction.
Finally, state the ‘map points’ of your paper: indicate the structure of your paper, so the reader knows
what to expect (e.g. which sections in which order).
Methods: In this section you should describe the way the work was carried out (explain where the
survey questionnaire came from, who conducted the surveys (not just you), how the surveying was
done (online), how the sample (respondents) was selected, characteristics of the sample, how the data
were analyzed, etc.), and any particular problems that had to be overcome.
Results: In a standard research paper, results are usually given as plainly as possible without any
comment. It is often difficult to know how much data to put into this section. You should include
enough data to enable to reader to be confident that you have done what you said you did, and that
your conclusions will be trustworthy. I would suggest summarizing your main results into a
maximum of 4 or 5 tables or graphs. For example, you could choose the most interesting analysis
(e.g. the cross-tabulation between the question response and age), and show that in a graph. Then you
Updated October 25, 2019
3
could describe the results of the other data relationships that you found (e.g. cross-tab of response
and faculty) in the text, without providing a graph. This is okay. WE want you to show that you
understand how to manipulate the data to answer each of the questions, but beyond that, you can
describe some results in text format only. Do not interpret your results here – simply state the
findings!
Discussion: In this section you should briefly re-state the key important results, provide an
interpretation of the results (What do they mean? Why are they important, what do they tell us about
sustainability on campus?), and if possible, compare your results with other published findings (from
the textbook or other sources). You should also point out any potential shortcomings (also called
‘limitations’) in the study. One example might be that the sample of respondents was not a random
sample and therefore the findings may be somewhat biased as a result. Try to think of (and describe)
other shortcomings in the methods that we used.
The Discussion section of a scientific paper is the place where the author is allowed to be less
objective than usual. In this section it is acceptable to mention opinions, and speculate about the
significance of the work. In particular, if your findings are unusual or very much at odds with other
people’s conclusions, you should explain why you think this might be. However, make sure that your
opinions/interpretations relate to the results you have presented (don’t just make random statements
that are not addressed at all by the results).
Conclusion: The conclusion provides the overall findings of the study. A main recommendation or
two may be made here and you may also wish to suggest where future research should be focused.
Keep this section fairly short.
References: You are required to use the textbook as a reference. In scientific writing, if you make
any statement that is not one of plain fact or measurement, you must justify it, or cite (refer to)
another publication where it is justified. You must give a full reference if you use another person’s
words directly or their ideas indirectly. See the link below for help with this, or visit the Academic
Writing Help Centre.
Recommendations***: Typically, recommendations would be a small part of the
discussion/conclusion sections. However, the Office of Campus Sustainability would like to have a
separate page of recommendations that they can easily look at. Keep your recommendations
reasonable and stick to things that might actually be possible here on campus. Answer the following
question: What are some appropriate courses of action for the university (or other relevant
people/groups) to support sustainability on university campuses generally and/or on the University of
Ottawa campus specifically?
Some additional details:
 Do not use point form (the Recommendations section is the one exception to this)
 If you include a table or figure:
o Include a caption (e.g. Figure 1: XXX)
o The main results you are trying to highlight MUST be described in the text
 Use a common referencing style and be consistent (See
http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/writing/kit/referencing.php)
 Don’t forget that we are looking for a clear, concise, convincing, well-written and wellstructured report. Your mark will be influenced by the quality and effectiveness of your
writing.
Updated October 25, 2019
4
Assignment 3: Marking Scheme (/100)
Introduction
 Problem well defined; study well justified
 Links made to the published literature (textbook)
 Terms defined
 Clear and appropriate objectives
 Map points for paper
15
Methods
 Clear description of survey design, survey administration, sample selection,
data analysis, sample characteristics
10
Results
 Meaningful analysis/results
 Focused; clearly described
 Quality of data presentation (tables/figs);
 Figures/tables referenced in text, and important information described
20
Discussion
 Clear and logical interpretation of results
 Links made to published literature
 Study limitations discussed
20
Conclusion
 Conclusions flow logically from results 10
Recommendations
 Recommendations flow from results*** 5
Organization, mechanics, style, referencing:
 Demonstrated evidence of proofreading
 Logical flow, transitions, structure
 Grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity
 Proper in-text citation of references (Choose a style and be consistent: e.g.
APA, or other)
 Bibliography (complete, correct and consistent style)
20

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