MS Project: Statistical Analysis of Data

The typical length of a MS project is 10 pages double-spaced, with the following elements.

  1. ABSTRACT: A brief summary (100 - 250 words ) of research appears at the front. This should state the purpose of research and its main findings.
  2. INTRODUCTION: Describe the purpose of research, and possibly the previous work the research builds on, including:
    1. justifying why the research needed.
    2. summarizing the literature on previous work in this area.
    3. listing the objectives of the study.
  3. METHODS: Describe the conduct of the study, including how the data were collected, analyzed, etc, including:
    1. General study design (was it an experiment, a case-control, or cohort study, etc.)
    2. Description of the Study Participants or Objects: the study population, sampling frame, criteria for inclusion and exclusion, and the method for selecting study subjects.
  4. DATA COLLECTION: Describe variables, measurement techniques, and validity/reliability of instruments. One could also describe quality control procedures and/or methods used to minimize loss of information.
  5. STATISTICAL METHODS: A brief description of the statistical tests and software used to do the analysis.
  6. RESULTS: For studies involving people the results are often presented in the following order.
    1. Descriptive data: study population described according to demographic/socio-economic variables such as age, income, education, health status, etc.
    2. Crude (unadjusted) measures of Association: Relative risks from 2x2 tables, coefficients from univariate models, comparisons of group means by t-tests, etc.
    3. Stratified analyses and Simple Methods of Adjustment: For example, separate relative risks, t-tests, etc. by racial group.
    4. More complicated analyses with multivariate models: linear regression, logistic regression, proportional hazards, etc.

      Analogous presentations of results would be made for other types of studies.
  7. DISCUSSION This section interprets the results and explains the implications and limitations. Often (but not always) this involves the following in this order:
    1. A brief summary of the findings.
    2. A short review of the literature, contrasting with the study findings [May not be Necessary for Most Masters Projects]
    3. Discussion of strengths and limitations of the study.
    4. Implications for policy. What impact could these findings have on the way things are done now? [May not be Necessary for Most Masters Projects]
    5. Suggestions for future studies. Could shortcomings of this study be improved on in future research. [May not be Necessary for Most Masters Projects]
  9. TABLES [Usually any Masters Report of Data Analysis will have at least one table of important results]
  10. FIGURES [May or may not be Helpful for a Masters]
  11. APPENDIX [OPTIONAL] Students may want to attach a copy of the computer program used to do the data analysis.