Public Opinion Survey Project

Your group will complete a Public Opinion Survey Project over a period of time, making several interim reports along the way. During the course of the Project, a short questionnaire will be devised, a method of polling will be decided upon, a poll will be taken and the results tabulated, analyzed and presented to the class.

Part 1 Due Monday March 27 —

Guidelines for a are available on the web.

Part 2 Due Friday March 31 — Questions to Be Asked

Each group will compile a list of three questions they wish to obtain opinions about. Each question must have only two possible answers, typically YES/NO, FOR/AGAINST or FAVOR/OPPOSE. Ultimately, the goal will be to estimate the portion of a target population which holds a particular position on each of three questions or issues.

Questions may deal with controversial issues, but they must be in good taste.

The class will consider all the questions that were compiled by the groups and choose three questions that will be asked by all groups, along with the target population.

Part 3 Due Wednesday April 5 — Sample Questionnaire

Each group will submit a sample copy of the questionnaire they will be using, including instructions for the pollsters.

Each group will also explain how it plans to obtain a random sample. It will also include a critique of that method's shortcomings.

Part 4 Due Monday April 24 — Finish Collecting Data

Each group will report on the data it obtained.

Note that there will not be a lot of time between the time the data is collected and the date that the final report is due. It would be wise to start preparing the final report while the data is being collected, leaving until the data is collected only those parts that actually depend on the data.

Part 5 Due Friday May 5 — Report

Your final report should be neatly typed and include any graphics you deem appropriate. Final reports that don't satisfy these criteria will be returned for revision. The final report should be in a form that would be appropriate for submission, by a professional polling firm, to a client. It should include an explanation of the purpose of the poll, the questions that were asked, the methodology used, the results obtained, and an analysis of those results.

Two separate sets of results should be included. One analysis should be done using only the data obtained by your particular group. A separate analysis should be done lumping together the data obtained by all the groups.

In a separate section, each group will also determine the sample size that would have been needed in order to obtain confidence intervals with a margin of error of 2% and confidence level of 95%.

At the same time, each group member will separately submit his or her own reflections on the polltaking process, along a confidential, annotated estimate of the percentage contribution of each group member.

Each group will make a brief (5-10 minute) presentation of its results to the class.


The entire project will be worth the equivalent of one exam (100 points) for each team member. Each of the first four parts will be graded on the basis of 15 points each and the final report will be graded on the basis of 40 points. Each part must be submitted on time; the grade for any part not submitted on time will be cut in half.


These groups were determined randomly by computer.