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Write a research brief | Be US Census Bureau’s Chief Analyst (Lesson 5 of 5) | 6-8

Student Objective

Students will be able to:
1. Write a research brief and report to a governor of a US state answering the question, "Are the households in my state better off than they were 10 years ago?"


This activity builds off of, “3a-d: Knowledge Constructor | Statistical Inference | Be US Census Bureau’s Chief Analyst – Part 4 | 6-8

Materials Needed:

Step 1: “What information do you think the governor wants in the research brief/report?”

  • Think-Pair-Share:
    • Have students answer the question: what information do you think the governor wants in the research brief/report?”
  • Exemplar Response:
    • Variables used in the analysis
    • why we used those variables
    • what data we used and from what time periods
    • we used a sample from the state’s population
    • what statistically significant differences exist within a state over 2 years
    • the steps and tests we can that led us to determine statistical significance
    • what question we are answering
    • the answer to the question
  • Push Thinking:
    • If we could have had access to or collect other data, what other data would be useful for this analysis?

Step 2: Introduce Enduring Question

  • Today, we ask ourselves, “How do we compile a research brief for the governor of a US state?”

Step 3: Show Students the Essential Elements of a Research Brief/Report

  • Essential Elements are:
    • Introduction and Background
      • what question are we trying to answer?
      • why are we answering this specific question?
    • Methodology
      • what data did we use for this report?
      • why is that data reliable and useful?
      • what variables did we select for analysis?
      • how did we use the data to answer the question?
      • what steps did we take to analyze our data?
    • Data Analysis and Results
      • What were the results of our data analysis (the steps we took to analyze the information)?
    • Conclusion
      • What is our answer to the question?

Step 4: Provide students scaffolded report template to write out their research brief/report

  • Provide students a copy of this scaffolded guide to write their research brief
  • Have them independently run through and “circulate” through the documents as they share it with you

Step 5: Students take the draft from their scaffolded document and have peer review

  • Have students pair up and share their first draft with their peer
  • Have peers provide feedback to students
    • Peers provide feedback on each other’s papers by highlighting section of text and commenting in google documents:
      • Was their Introduction and Background clear?
      • Was their methodology section clear and understandable?
      • Does their peer make a clear conclusion and share it?

Step 6: Students submit the document for teacher review (teacher provides feedback)

  • Students should have already shared their document link with you, so you will be able to see their progress

Step 7: Student makes the essential edits

  • Add comments and suggestions to each students digital brief

Step 8: Students submit final draft

  • Teacher downloads each brief from each student

Step 9: Stamp end of Lesson

  • At the beginning of our journey of being a Data Analyst for the US Census Bureau, we asked the question, “How do we compile a research brief, or report, for a governor of a US state?”
  • In this activity, we actually crafted a research brief and have submitted it to the governor for their review.



EdTech used in this activity:

Google Docs

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