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Week 8: Making Arguments With Data

Cleaning, understanding, and using data to make and support arguments about the past.

Before Class
I will provide you with a link to download the entire Chicago Homicide Database (in a spreadsheet format). Please download and bring these to class as we will practice cleaning, filtering, and querying data related to your topics.

Please take the time before class to look at the data dictionary and plan how you’re going to approach your topic with the data that is in front of you.


Blog Assignment
Due Sunday, November 1st at noon.
Worth 3 points. Blog responses should be at least 300 words; they should be written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, syntax, and full citations). Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will not be accepted.

Filter the database by the key piece of information related to your project topic and using the data dictionary, clean up the data. What have you learned? Can you spot any initial trends in this larger data?

On your blog this week, write about these trends or any patterns that emerge in this data. As you’re doing so, think about what argument can you make using this new evidence. As part of your longer discussion about these patterns, I’d like you to write a potential thesis statement that incorporates your biggest “learning” from the data. Note that you need to discuss BOTH the patterns in your data and a potential related thesis statement — not just one or the other. You will also need to embed any charts or visualizations you use for your analysis.

Last updated: November 19, 2015 at 18:28 pm