Evaluating and Analyzing Data From Primary Research Worksheet

Research Writing – Research Process

Use this Data Analysis of Primary Research Worksheet to test how well you interpret results from this type of research. Ten exercises ask you a variety of questions about analyzing data to make sense of it for your research writing.

Evaluating and Analyzing Data From Primary Research


For each of the questions on analyzing data and interpreting it, provide an answer that you feel best answers the question. Most answers require you to make judgments on data analysis, but try to stay as objective as possible in your responses.

  • The following data set was obtained through survey responses to the question asking people’s age at the time they graduated from college: 20, 22, 23, 32, 22, 24, 22, 23, 24, 27, 22. What type of data analysis would you use to make sense of this data?

  • If you conducted a survey that produces only open-ended answers, what type of data analysis should you use?

  • A survey consists of a series of open-ended questions. What type of data does this primary research give you?

  • How would you analyze the data obtained in the survey mentioned in the above question?

  • If the topic of the survey covered questions relating to people’s reading habits and their education levels, can you think of a few examples of how that data could be organized into categories?

  • If you are writing a research paper that claims people with college degrees read more trade, educational and news-related material, are any of the categories you identified in the previous question relevant to support your claim?

  • If you conducted observations on social interaction between preschoolers during school hours, can you think of a few examples of how data obtained might be categorized?

  • If you surveyed 20 people about their reading habits, could you assume that what your research revealed is attributable to a group of people of any size? Why or why not?

  • What if you surveyed 300 people about their reading habits, would your answer to the previous question change? Why or why not?

  • Your research paper is about people’s eating habits with relation to their physical appearance, and you make the claim that people in a normal weight range eat healthier than those who are overweight. Through conducting observations, you determine that thinner people tend to make healthy food choices only 20 percent of the time, while overweight people tend to make healthy food choices 80 percent of the time. You also conducted a survey of 50 people asking their weight and for information about their eating habits. Your survey results are completely opposite of your observations in the cafeteria: 80 percent of average weight people and 20 percent of overweight people make healthy food choices. Does your research support your claim? Does your analysis of data from your observation change when you factor in the results from the survey?