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PCH 594 - Special Project Seminar II
Professor Jung's Guidelines for Writing the Special Report, Sections 4 & 5




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Writing Section 4's Statistics Statistical Reporting 101

Suggested Citation: Jung, BC (1999-2015). Professor Jung's Guidelines for Writing the Special Project Report.
http://www.bettycjung.net/Pch594gl.htm
PURPOSE

A number of people have asked if I would write some guidelines for Sections 4 and 5, since I had set the awful precedent of writing guidelines for Sections 1 - 3. So, to finish what I started, here are the guidelines for the last two sections of the Special Project.

This document contains some additional guidance for writing your Special Project Report. It is meant to supplement the Department's Special Project Guidelines document, my course syllabus , and the Statistical Reporting 101 document. All these documents should provide you with what you should keep in mind when you write your drafts.

Note: I have developed these guidelines for the students I am advising. Others are welcome to use these guidelines, but check with your Special Project Advisor first. E-mail me if you have found these guidelines helpful, or, unhelpful. I can always modify them based on user feedback. Thanks.


WHAT IS THE SPECIAL PROJECT?

In brief, this is a "Research and Development" course in which you develop a communications product, as a solution to an identified problem for a particular agency, over the course of two semesters, as part of Special Project Seminar I (PCH 593), and Special Project Seminar II (PCH 594).

During the first semester, you developed a proposal that:

  1. Outlined the philosophical and theoretical Public Health and Health Education bases for approaching the problem (Section 1);
  2. Documented a review of the literature of the frameworks and theories used in previous solutions to similar problems, as well as the solutions themselves that have been developed to address the problem(s) you are addressing, or, similar problems, as well as the feasibility of the Project you were proposing (Section 2), and;
  3. Delineated the steps that will be taken to complete the Special Project, stating specifically how data will be collected and analyzed, and what institutional approvals were obtained (Section 3).

During the second semester,, you actually carry out (implement) the plan of action you developed and stated in your Special Project Proposal. During PCH 594 - Special Project Seminar II, you actually complete everything you talked about in your Proposal. Just like you had a proposal to show for your efforts in PCH 593, you will have a report and the finished product to show for your efforts in PCH 594.

Your final report will consist of:

  1. Background for your Special Project (updated Sections 1, 2, 3);
  2. Documentation of the actual product research and development. This would include a narrative of all your activities, presentation and the analyses of the data from your data collection activities, explanations of how you used the results from your data collection for the development, pilot testing (evaluation) and modification of your Product Prototype (Section 4);
  3. Summary, significance and future implications for Public Health Practice. This would include conclusions, recommendations, etc. regarding the Special Project, and what you think will be its contribution to the field of Public Health and Community Health Education (Section 5).

And, along with the Report you will be submitting the actual completed Product to be given to the Sponsoring Agency as well as to the SCSU Department of Public Health.


GIVENS

  • Always use APA format.
  • Always check your grammar and spelling before you hand in your drafts. Microsoft Word has spell and grammar checks. Learn to use these great tools.
  • I will penalize if APA format is not used and if I have to correct spelling and grammar.
  • I like subheadings. It helps me (and other readers) to find where everything is.


INTRODUCTION & REPORT TITLE

Introduction

  • Now that you have actually gone through the process of developing a prototype, tested and modified it based on data you have collected, it is now time to document the actual process. This is what you will be doing for Sections 4 & 5 of your Special Project.
  • As Sections 1, 2 and 3 were considered your Proposal, Sections 4 and 5 will comprised what will be referred to as the Report. Note that your Special Project actually consists of two major parts -- the write-up, which includes Sections 1 through 5, and the Product itself.

Special Project Title

  • You can probably start by changing the title of the proposal you wrote last semester to reflect the final Special Project. It could take the form of "A Communications Product" for "Agency Name" to "increase, enhance, improve a health behavior" by/for/among a "target population".
  • Example: A Brochure for Agency X to Raise Awareness of an Educational Program for Health Care Providers

Updating Sections 1, 2 & 3

  • The first three sections should read as if your Special Project has been completed, and you are providing documentation that justifies your approach to the development and evaluation of the Product.
  • To refresh your memory as well as bring the Proposal up to the present, you will need to update Sections 1 through 3, specifically Section 3. This section was where you delineated your plan of action in the future tense. Now, it should be written in past tense describing everything you have done (not just in words, but also in action). However, you do not need to go into extensive detail in Section 3. Save the details for Section 4.
  • You don't need to change everything to past tense. For example, "Permission has been given by the Agency Preceptor..." would become "Permission was given by the Agency Preceptor...." Or, "The concept of Self-efficacy will be used..." would become "The concept of Self-efficacy was used...." Use common sense and a critical eye when rewriting.
  • For material that your actions do not have a direct impact on -- in general, conceptual material should not be placed in any particular tense because concepts, in theory, are timeless. For example, your "Health Outcome Goal" because it is so general, would remain a goal to strive for. The goal has not changed because of your Special Project, but has probably become a little more achievable because of your Special Project, as least for the Agency. Research applications of concepts you reported in Section 2 should already be in past tense.
  • Theories should also be treated this way, and should not be written in past tense, except when reporting research using the theories. When referring to them, unless they were found to be false during Intercession, keep references to theories timeless. IF the theories have been recently rejected (highly unlikely, especially if they have been around for some time, and which is the reason why I wrote in the first set of guidelines to stay with more traditional concepts and theories), then you would have to document this revolutionary event in Section 2, and talk about how this has impacted your Project and how it will impact future Practice in Section 5.
  • Similarly, statistics written in the future tense (i.e., by 2050, the largest minority population group in the U.S. will be Hispanic) should remain in the future tense. Such statistics remain predictive even after you have completed your Special Project, unless, of course, you are planning to spend the next 50 years completing your project (in which case I'm not going to be around to give you a grade). If you cannot show your Project has substantially changed any statistics you have talked about in Section 2, leave them as you wrote them.

Creating Data Shells

  • To facilitate the entire process of data collection and reporting, you can begin to organize how you plan to report your analysis FIRST. This is done with the creation of data shells, or, data templates.
  • Data shells are empty tables you create that will be filled by the data you collect.
  • Organize your set of data shells by data collection instrument. For each instrument there will be 3 main sections (Descriptive statistics, Preliminary data processing, Data Analysis):
    1. Descriptive Statistics - Category data description that includes frequency and percentage tables. This would include tables for demographic variables, and all the variables you have collected data for. Organize tables so you are reporting similar types of data together. For example, report all Yes/No questions in one table, Likert Scale responses in another table, and derived categorical variables from qualitative analyses (statement and "other" responses, etc.) in still another.
    2. Preliminary processing of qualitative data - tables for recording text and developing categories.
    3. Data Analysis (Bivariate analysis) - Contingency tables that explore the relationships between variables. You should include contingency tables for your demographic variables and the other variables in your surveys. Perform Chi-Square analyses when both variables are categorical. For example, Yes/No questions can be analyzed this way.
    4. Data Analysis (Bivariate analysis) - Analysis of variance. If you have Likert Scale responses, you can compare the mean ratings for a series of statements.
    5. Data Analysis (Bivariate analysis) - Analysis of variance. If you have Likert Scale responses, you can compare the mean ratings of a statement by a demographic variable.
Refer to the Statistical Reporting 101 document on how I want the statistics written up, and what to include in the Results section and the Appendix.

WRITING SECTION 4 - PRODUCT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

The purpose of this section is to document your research and development activities. The perspective should be specific in nature, but should reflect the integration of the basic principles of Public Health Practice as advanced in Healthy People 2010, referenced public health sources, and the health behavioral and organizational theories and frameworks you have selected to guide you through the research and development process. You should include:

  • A statement about how your activities are linked to the statement of the problem, as well as the goals and objectives you talked about in Section 1;
  • A general summary of the methods and procedures that comprised your research and development process to lay the groundwork for your more detailed explanations in the sections to follow.

Narrative - Formative Research

Think about the title of your report. This section should be general, with specific examples of how you implemented your plan (proposal). Reiterate what your health outcome goal is. Your rewritten Section 3 can provide an outline of what you need to include when writing up this section, which basically is an expansion of Section 3's "Development & Evaluation of Strategy" section. Give specific examples of how the process was implemented for each parameter:

  • Agency Parameters - how did the Agency Preceptor facilitate the development of your product?
  • Department Parameters - how did your Special Project Advisor facilitate the process?
  • Expert Parameters - how were theories/conceptual frameworks used in the development process? How did these frameworks help you to choose one approach over another?
  • Target Population Parameters - how did your understanding of the target population impact the way you developed the product? What did you do differently to accommodate limitations set by the population? For example, because your target population was elderly you used a larger font and white paper to make the product easier to read, etc., etc.

Initial Product Development

Use this section to describe your pre-development data collection activities. In other words, describe the input you obtained to develop the Product Prototype.

  • Describe how you performed your data collection. Record dates, how you distributed your surveys, where and how you conducted your focus groups, when your first and second mailings went out, etc.
  • Where appropriate, reference the Appendix that includes the data collection instruments, data documentation - variable listings, codebooks, data analysis protocols preliminary data processing.
  • Provide an overview of the data you have gathered.
  • Provide a coherent context for the statistical tables found in the Results section at the end of this section, and any raw data found in the Appendix.
  • Report pertinent findings and how you used these findings to develop your prototype. Keep it factual. Data interpretation goes in Section 5.

Pilot test (Evaluation)/Revision of Product Prototype

Use this section to describe your post-development data collection activities. This is where you talk about how you conducted the pilot testing of your Product Prototype, and how you used the feedback you obtained from your pilot testing to refine the prototype.

  • Describe how you performed your data collection. Record dates, how you distributed your surveys, where and how you conducted your focus groups, when your first and second mailings went out, etc.
  • Where appropriate, reference the Appendix that includes the data collection instruments, data documentation - variable listings, codebooks, data analysis protocols, preliminary data processing.
  • Provide an overview of the data you have gathered.
  • Provide a coherent context for the statistical tables found in the Results section at the end of this section, and any raw data found in the Appendix.
  • Report pertinent findings and how you used these findings to revise and refine your prototype. Keep it factual. Data interpretation goes in Section 5.

Results

Include all the data analysis tables for all your data collection instruments. Organize these tables in the order you conducted your data collection, and by instrument. Each table should make sense in and by itself. Each table should have descriptive headings. Include "N"s or "n"s on all your tables. Make sure the math is right -- everything adds up correctly, percentages equal 100%. Whatever is not self-explanatory in the table should be explained in a note or notes right below the table. Use APA format.

Detailed guidelines for what to include can be found in Statistical Reporting 101.

Pre-development Data Collection (Surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.)

  • Descriptive statistics for all variables, and derived variables from qualitative analyses
  • Bivariate analysis
    1. Cross-tabulations - contingency tables
    2. Analysis of variance

Pilot test (Evaluation)/Post-development Data Collection (Surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.)

  • Descriptive statistics for all variables, and derived variables from qualitative analyses
  • Bivariate analysis
    1. Cross-tabulations - contingency tables
    2. Analysis of variance

Summary

Write a comprehensive, but concise summary of Section 4, by highlighting all the important points from each section.

Appendix

Additional documentation for Section 4 should be included in the Appendix. There should be an appendix for EACH data collection instrument you used. Each appendix for each instrument should include "Data Collection Documentation," which consists of:

  1. Data collection instrument
  2. Permission letters
  3. Scripts used
  4. Variables Definition Listings
  5. Data Entry Templates (Surveys collecting closed-ended data)
  6. Codebooks
  7. Data Analysis Protocols for Qualitative Data ("Other", telephone interview data, focus group data, etc. Basically any data collection using scripts of any kind)
  8. Raw data with preliminary data processing (qualitative data)

Bibliography

In APA format, cite all sources used for writing Section 4.


WRITING SECTION 5 - SUMMARY, SIGNIFICANCE & FUTURE IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE

Introduction

The purpose of this final section is to share your experiences with the entire Special Project process. This is the section where you can offer your interpretations of the various activities you were involved in with the completion of your Special Project. You can express your opinions, but I would really like for these opinions to be somewhat reasonable, based on what you have done. Remember, this is still part of a "Research and Development" Report.

Summary

This section should provide a general context for your Project. Think of this as an expanded version of your Abstract narrative (which is limited to 150 words). Provide an overview of your Project (Section 1 summary), relevant literature review (Section 2 summary). Talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Project, compared to what has already been done (in the field, as reported in Section 2). Talk about how your Project is consistent or inconsistent with what you found in your literature review.

Significance

This section should provide a more specific context for your Project. Provide an honest assessment of your Product's contribution towards achieving the health outcome goal you have set in Section 1.

Talk about the findings you considered pertinent by using them to develop and refine your prototype. Were the findings what you expected to find? Why were there surprise, or, unexpected findings (if any)? How would you explain them? It might be easier to organize your discussion for this section by data collection instrument (i.e, pre-development phase, post-development phase).

Recommendations & Future Implications for Public Health Practice

Recommendations - If someone else were to develop a product similar to yours, what pearls of wisdom can you provide to make it easier for that person? What areas have you identified that could use more research?

Implications - What would you do differently if you were to do this again?

Yes, this is the end! Now get everything together so it can get signed off and you can graduate.


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Writing Section 4's Statistics Statistical Reporting 101

Published on the Net: January 16, 2001
Updated: December 20, 2015 R89
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