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Next Steps:
Now that you have submitted your data and have gotten feedback, here are some next steps for you to
work on to advance your paper.
1. Compile the articles that you will reference in your paper.
2. Read them.*
3. Write a 1-2 paragraph summary of each paper.**
4. Construct the citation of the papers for the References Cited section.
5. Begin writing your “Data Description” section.
6. Generate the Summary Statistics table.
7. Graph your variables.
8. Explore the correlation matrix.
9. Run regressions.
10. Generate your Regression Output table.
11. Decide on your overall (main) conclusion that your research has helped you discover.
12. Write your Results section.
13. Write your Summary/Conclusion section.
14. Write your Limitations and Future Research section.
15. Write your Literature Review section.***
16. Write your Introduction section.
17. Write your Abstract.
18. Check the Grading Rubric.
19. Ensure your format is correct, and that proper information is on your front page.****
*Not super intensely, just making sure you get the gist of what can be learned from the research.
**You will not use this entire summary in your paper, it just helps to write it RIGHT after reading it. You
will extract main findings later.
***Pay attention to how you cite a paper within text.
**** You must include your name(s), group number, “Spring 2020 EC204 [3:30 or 5pm] Section”, the
date and the abstract on the front page.
DETAILED VERSION ON FOLLOWING PAGE→
Next Steps (Detailed):
1. Compile the articles that you will reference in your paper.
a. Look for any that seem relevant to your research topic.
i. They may be about pre-discovered relationships with your DV or IV, or both.
ii. They don’t need to address your exact research question. Instead, they may
have discovered something about relationships that include either of your main
variables. However, they need to “fit” into your overall story/analyses and
should not seem completely unrelated.
2. Read them.
a. You just want to get the gist of what can be learned from the research.
b. If the econometrics is beyond the scope of our course (Metrics 1!), then just make sure
you can understand their main conclusions.
3. Write a 1-2 paragraph summary of each paper.
a. Make sure YOU ARE NOT copying/pasting from the abstract, or from anywhere else.
4. Construct the citation of the paper for the References Cited section.
a. APA style
i. By author:
1. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_for
matting_and_style_guide/reference_list_author_authors.html
ii. More detailed info on references to articles in particular:
1. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_for
matting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
b. MLA style is also fine if that’s the one on which you are already well-versed (just be
consistent within your References Cited section).
5. Begin writing your “Data Description” section.
a. This should be straight to the point:
i. Source(s) of data
ii. Describe your data.
1. Who or what make up your elements/observations?
2. Describe your variables:
a. Include tables: Variables’ Descriptions and Summary Statistics.
i. You can copy/paste the one you have submitted, with
any changes I recommended in feedback.
b. Don’t include polynomial or log terms in your description, just
describe the underlying X
b. Example: “Data were obtained from the World Bank and span 1980-2015. The list of
countries is provided below the Summary Statistics Table (Table 2) and the variables are
described in Table 1.”
i. Of course include anything else about your data that you think may be
important for the reader to know, including missing countries for example, or
which “population of interest” you think the sample was drawn from.
c. Note: this is NOT the place to mention potential sources of omitted variable bias.
CONTINUES ON FOLLOWING PAGE→
6. Generate the Summary Statistics table.
a. Use the resources on Blackboard. Find the do file and example of a summary statistics
table under “Research Project Stuff→Stata Stuff→Stata Help Videos, Commands,
etc.→Producing Publication-Style Tables in Stata→Summary Statistics Tables”
b. Make sure you use the label option in the esttab command to ensure that Stata uses the
labels of the variables and not the (often ugly or uninformative) variable names
themselves.
7. Graph your variables.
a. Scatterplots, bar charts, pie charts… whatever help you better understand your data and
whatever may help your reader either better understand or become more motivated by
your research.
b. This is where you can set yourself apart from the rest of the class, by providing a graph
that is super informative and more than a simple basic scatterplot.
8. Explore the correlation matrix.
a. Use the corr command to see the correlation matrix.
b. This may help you describe omitted variable bias that is removed once the variable is no
longer omitted, or also help you discover other possible control variables or other
interesting relationships!
i. The correlation matrix does NOT need to be reported in your paper unless you
think it should be/is extremely helpful to make a point you are trying to make.
9. Run regressions.
a. Play with various model specifications: logs, polynomials, interaction terms…
10. Generate your Regression Output table.
a. Use outreg2.
i. Find Resources on Blackboard under “Research Project Stuff→Stata Stuff→Stata
Help Videos, Commands, etc.→Producing Publication-Style Tables in
Stata→Regression Results Tables
b. The first column will be just your DV regressed on your main variable of interest
i. No controls, no “fixed effects” (for panel data)
c. The subsequent columns will display the various models you attempted
i. Don’t add in controls one at a time
ii. Do add in time and entity fixed effects one at a time (if panel data)
d. Be sure your table reports the adjusted R2 for each model, as well as the number of
observations.
e. You should only have ONE regression output table (MAYBE two if you run LOTS of
interesting regressions)
i. Each different regression is a different column, not a different table
ii. You can often fit up to 5-7 columns in one table
iii. Make sure that your columns clearly indicate what your DV is.
11. Decide on your overall (main) conclusion that your research has helped you discover.
a. What’s the main finding? It may or may not be exactly what you set out to discover.
b. This will shape the way you “frame” your research paper, keeping a consistent flow
between sections/ideas that have an overall (and consistent) point throughout, all
leading to this overall conclusion.
CONTINUES ON FOLLOWING PAGE→
12. Write your Results section.
a. This should also be consistent with the “frame” of the paper.
b. It describes things you can learn from the regression output table.
13. Write your Summary/Conclusion section.
a. This should also be consistent with the “frame” of the paper.
b. Unlike your Results section, it only discusses the main takeaway.
c. This is where any policy implications would be discussed. How does what we have
learned from your research help us better understand what we can do to achieve a
particular goal?
i. Note that some papers may not have “policy implications” but instead may
prescribe a perspective we should share, a new way to look at something, or
provide advice on how to approach future decision making.
14. Write your Limitations and Future Research section.
a. This is where you discuss the limitations of your research, including missing data that
may be biasing your results
b. You also mention a possible direction (or two, or three) that research can take.
15. Write your Literature Review section.***
a. Be sure your lit review section is very concise, only mentioning the main takeaways from
papers that help us better understand something about either your DV or your main IV
(or both).
b. Be sure you think about how you are framing your research paper to make sure these
additions fit nicely and flow smoothly toward your own main conclusions.
16. Write your Introduction section.
a. This is generally saved for last because by now you know EXACTLY how you are framing
your research conclusions.
b. This section contains a (brief) description of your research question, the motivation
(why is it worth studying), and your main conclusions.
17. Write your Abstract.
a. A VERY brief description of your research question and your main conclusions.
18. Check the Grading Rubric.
a. This will help ensure you hit all/most of the necessary pieces.
19. Ensure your format is correct, and that proper information is on your front page.****
**** You must include your name(s), group number, “Spring 2020 EC204 [3:30 or 5pm ]Section”, the
date and the abstract on the front page.

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