Guidelines for the Research Project


The idea is to analyze some data using the multivariate methods discussed in class. You can collect the data yourself, or borrow others' data, or use secondary sources available on the web etc.

The project is likely to be exploratory in nature (since exploratory methods dominate our schedule). However, this does not imply that the study can be free of theoretical implications and interest. There must be a point, and you do not want to select data whose analysis will have no consequence for any theoretical understanding of the phenomena.

You should also make sure that your study has enough weight to warrant a term project. For example, a multidimensional scaling of driving distances between US cities would not be sufficient.

IMPORTANT: Please clear your topic with me before embarking on the project.


There are two key deliverables. One is a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation on the last day of class. Clarity should be your main objective in the presentation. The other is a 25+ page (double-spaced, 12-point, 1-inch margins) written report due a few days after the presentation (see schedule) via email.

The paper should be complete in the sense of having a proper introduction, theory section, methods section, results section, and conclusion. However, the main focus should be on the methods, results and conclusion, not the theory.

The grade for the research project will be an average of the two deliverables.