Scientific Computing I-Regression Interpolation Assignments | Online Homework Help

Primary, Secondary, Citations and References

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Learning Objectives

  • Find relevant sources for a report.
  • Evaluate the quality of data.
  • Construct tables and charts.
  • Interpret data for the report reader

Lesson Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate Internet Research
  • Perform Internet Research
  • Format References
  • Primary Research
  • Research Instrument Development
  • Tables and Charts


Sources: Primary, Secondary, Citations and References

As 306ers have already experienced, the first step in writing a proposal is planning and limiting the topic scope. Decide at the onset, what constraints influence the range of the project? How will its purpose be achieved? Identify problems, issues, concerns, and client expectations.

A proposal will be only as good as its supporting data.   What is meant by supporting data?   Legitimate research! Obtaining quality research is imperative. Two types of research exist; (1) Primary: New data experienced through observation and/or experience and, (2) Secondary: Data previously recorded from other’s observation, work and/or experience.   Nearly every research project begins with secondary data which saves the researcher time and money by preventing the need to, “reinvent the wheel” because the information is already published.

Most students use electronic resources to find secondary data.   Technology makes spending hours at the library undesirable. Via hand-held devices, laptops, I-Phones and all the rest, secondary data is available at the touch of a button. The problem is…and it’s a major problem… just because the information appears on a keyword search, does not mean, the information is legitimate for academic research.   Ninety percent of the time, information pulled from a keyword search is not academically viable. To help find legitimate information on the Web, the first step is to check the URL file extension:

  • .com (Commercial site, usually not appropriate for legitimate research.)
  • .edu (Educational site, always appropriate for legitimate research.)
  • .org (Nonprofit organization, 50 percent of the time appropriate for legitimate research.)
  • .gov (Government site, always appropriate for legitimate research.)

A good researcher is aware that computers are machines. These machines do not have common sense; therefore, don’t expect the machine to know the difference between legitimate and illegitimate information. Guide the computer by using effective search strategies. Work to gain effective results from research efforts. Be a savvy researcher:

  • Place quotation marks around keywords to hold the word elements together.
  • Search uncommon and technical words to obtain specific search results.
  • Bookmark the best scholarly search engines.
  • Generally, use lowercase letters for keyword searches.
  • Be persistent by using synonyms and variations to keywords.

The Web provides many great research opportunities but only to those who know how to properly search for it. For those who don’t, the constantly changing content and lack of organization within the Web causes frustration.The most reliable, legitimate information source for academia and secondary data is a college or a university library. Library databases include information already evaluated by scholars and publishers. The content in library databases is peer reviewed. For research projects (of all kinds) library sources are a “can’t lose proposition.”


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Chart Applications: Area, Column, Bar, Polygon, Histogram, Line/Curve, Pie, Scatter, and Map
Charts Applications Remarks
Area Cumulated totals (numbers or percentages) over time


Percentage, Cumulative


Column Observations over time or under different conditions; data sets must be small


Vertical (columns), horizontal (bars);

multiple columns/bars, columns/bars centered at zero


Bar Proportional relationships over time


May be scaled to 100%


Polygon Discrete frequency distribution


Different formats
Histogram Discrete frequency distribution


Columns/bars without gaps


Line/Curve Trends, functional relations


Data point connected by lines or higher order curves


Pie Proportional relationships at a point in time


Segments may be pulled out of the pie for emphasis

(exploded pie chart)


Scatter Distribution of data points along one or two dimensions


One-dimensional, two-dimensional


Map Typically used for geographical data; can also be used for parts of devices, human or animal bodies


Useful, if an analog relation can be used for

representing data



Phase 1:

  1. Search online databases/browsers, etc. and find secondary research.
  2. This research should be applicable to your proposal’s content.
  3. Evaluate sources found with the course-discussed, Five-Steps: (1) Authority, (2) Accuracy/Reliability, (3) Purpose/Objectivity, (4) Coverage and, (5) Currency.
  4. Post the 5 Step evaluations for two proposal appropriate, source-related, URL’s.

Phase 2:

  1. Briefly state the content obtained from each URL (secondary source) (Phase 1).
  2. Format a formal reference for each URL/secondary source.

Phase 3:

  1. Imagine you own a paint store.
  2. Which products generate the most revenue?
  3. Create a chart to help you visualize this information.
  4. Post the chart, its title, and content review, at this week’s forum
  5. Use the table, data provided below:


Assignment: Part 1

Read Chapter Nine

Part 1. Primary Research Instrument

For most projects, secondary research needs to be supplemented with primary data. Primary research includes the following data collection methods: Survey. (Gathers information through questionnaires, telephone, or e-mail inquiries.) Interviews. (Gathers information from individuals/field experts.)

Primary data is the most difficult for the researcher to acquire. Developing primary research instruments is an art–uh…to say the least. Properly developing these instruments takes time, knowledge, education, and persistence. Data is only as good as the instrument used to obtain the information. It’s always best to use nominal, Likert scale, or multiple-choice responses. Open-ended questions are extremely hard to develop, consolidate, and usually don’t provide precise information.

Interviewees and survey audiences always have limited time; therefore, when developing instruments ask precise questions that yield information relevant to the research. Make sure the questions developed cannot be answered with existing secondary data.

  1. Create the primary research instrument for your proposal study (survey, questionnaire, or interview).
  2. Develop only 6-12 questions. For surveys and questionnaires, provide forced answer choice responses.
  3. Check questions to make sure no ambiguity is present; do not ask multiple questions within one question.

Assignment: Part 2

Part 2. Informed Consent Form

By law, all research that involves human subjects must include informed consent signed by the researcher and the subject(s). This document acts as a legal contract between both parities. The form gives the researcher permission to use the subject’s responses, behavior, or activities, and data derived thereof, within the specified research project. This form must also include the delineators involved within the study and the researcher’s future plans for the data. It must state “if” anonymity is provided to the subject. When creating written content for an informed consent, the researcher must be careful not to reveal too much information about the study, or his or her anticipated results will sway. Skewed results of any kind, invalidates the research.

Submit the required instrument and informed consent form as one document to your instructor at “Turnitin.”


Sample Informed Consent Form
My name is (name of researcher), and I am a student at (state campus), I am inviting you to participate in an academic research study. Involvement in this study is voluntary, so you may choose to participate or not. A description of this study follows: (provide brief, concise study overview). I am interested in learning more about (research topic). My learning objectives are related to my formal educational pursuits. This information will be used in a business proposal for my upper- division writing class, “Management 306: Expository Writing for Administration” during the (state academic term and year).

(Describe what the subject will be asked to do). (State how much time the subject’s participation will take.) There are NO risks involved while participating in this study. (Any research that involves risk, of any kind, to the subject, CANNOT take place.)

If you no longer wish to continue, you have the right to withdraw from the study, without penalty, at any time. All information for this study will be kept (either confidential, in the case where subjects’ identities need to be retained or can be associated with their  response, or anonymous and confidential, in the case where data collection does not allow responses to be connected with a particular subject).

I have been assured that the information I provide in this study will be destroyed after the researcher consolidates data. There will be no permanent record of my participation in this study.

I________________________________am a willing participant in this study. (Participant’s name)

Signature of participant: __________________________________

Date: ____________________________

Print name of participant: _________________________________

Signature of researcher: __________________________________

Date: ____________________________

Print name of researcher: ________________________________


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