3.5 — Reading and Writing Empirical Papers — Class Notes


Thursday, October 22, 2020


Today we discuss the elements of a good empirical paper, with an eye towards your paper projects.

I highly recommend you look at my example repositories:

The first is one that I showed you back in class 1.5 when we talked about R Markdown and having a reproducible, plain-text, workflow. It has an example workflow setup that I recommend you follow: create an R project for your project, and organize all of your data, code, images, & text in this set of folders inside of your project.I also recommend you at least save this folder on Dropbox to keep it safe!

You can look at Example_paper.Rmd to see my text and code in R markdown to write the paper, and look at Example_paper.pdf to see the final product.

The second is a quick and dirty example of what I am looking for in your paper project in this class, using the ongoing example of the effect of class size on test scores. You can also look at paper.Rmd to see my text and code in R markdown, and paper.pdf to see the final product. Note that this is an example I put quickly together with minimal effort as an example for you all, it does not necessarily mean it is an “A” quality paper!

If you are using R markdown to write your final paper, you should consult class 1.5 again, along with the 1.5 “practice” that deals with the workflow repository.


There are no readings for today, but you should look at the materials mentioned above.


Practice Problems

Answers to last class’ practice problems are posted on that page.

Assignments: Midterm Corrections and Problem Set 4

Problem Set 4 is due by 11:59PM on Sunday, October 25 by PDF upload to Blackboard.

Live Class Session on Zoom

The live class Zoom meeting link can be found on Blackboard (see LIVE ZOOM MEETINGS on the left navigation menu), starting at 11:30 AM.

If you are unable to join today’s live session, or if you want to review, you can find the recording stored on Blackboard via Panopto (see Class Recordings on the left navigation menu).