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This assignment is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 is due this week which is as follow.  Over the course of the next three weeks you will conduct a public opinion survey and interview. The situation is as follows: You are graduating at the end of the year and have been applying to work in the news, media and reporting industries. One newspaper – The Saturn News – is interested but have requested you write a piece for them on what it is like to be a college student today. For this piece they are asking you to poll 8 college students and interview 2 college students on a sensitive topic impacting college students. Some context on public opinion pieces: 1. Who Was Interviewed? Generally speaking, the accuracy of a poll depends upon the degree to which the characteristics of the people being interviewed is really similar to those of the group they are supposed to represent. For example, the polling of sixteen-year-olds to predict the outcome of an election would be very questionable since they cannot vote. Also, as a general rule, the greater the number of people interviewed, the more likely the prediction will be accurate. Those interviewed should have been selected in a random fashion. 2. Under What Conditions Were The Interviews Conducted? Generally speaking, unclear, biased, or emotionally charged questions will produce misleading answers and weaken the accuracy of the results of a poll. Also, if the people being polled are asked to choose from a given set of responses in answering a question, there must be an acceptable number of alternatives from which to choose. Think about how you will frame the issue to avoid any potential for bias. BUILDING YOUR POLL Although you probably don’t have the means to conduct a scientific opinion poll, you can take an informal poll. It can help you learn what people in your school or community think about your chosen topic. There are three steps to conducting a public opinion poll: 1. Create a Public opinion poll Make most of your questions multiple choice and yes/no. This will make your public opinion poll easy to tabulate. Keep the public opinion poll short and simple. Be sure that your questions do not force particular answers. They must be unbiased. Otherwise your public opinion poll results will be open to criticism. Test your public opinion poll. Before conducting the public opinion poll, ask someone to check it over. Does that person think it is clear? 2. Select the Population and Sample Determine the population. What will your poll results represent? The opinions of everyone in the community? Of a section of the community? Select the population you want the poll to cover. Select a sample. You don’t have to poll the entire population to get a good idea of how people in the population feel. Try to get a random sample of the population. For this project you will poll 8 people. This may be done through out campus. It may be something sent to students you know in your other online classes. It may be college students from other campuses. 3. Conduct the Public opinion poll Prepare and practice a brief introduction. When approaching a stranger, introduce yourself, tell them what group you are from, explain the public opinion poll’s purpose, and ask whether the person would mind spending a few minutes answering it. Be polite. People who answer your public opinion poll are doing you a favor. Tell all interviewees that they do not have to put their names on the public opinion poll. Results will be reported anonymously. PUBLIC INTERVIEW For this project you will be interview two separate college students. You will want to modify your questions so as to seek more information from the openness of interviewing someone. Think about how the questions may need to be different if the student will be named and not anoymous Think about how you will build a connection and make them feel comfortable answering your questions. Ultimately we would like to compare the processes. In step 1 I need the following materials: 1. Chosen topic and why. What would you like to know about college students? (4 points) 2. Briefly describe how you will conduct the study. (4 points) 3. Create your poll – with at least 10 questions and your introduction explaining why the study is happening (Creating context for the people being surveyed). Not included in your 10 questions ask biographical information that may be helpful – gender, age, school, major etc. If these are relevant to your topic. (6 points) 4. Create your interview schedule – with at least 10 questions and an introduction. These questions will be similar to the poll, but will allow for greater depth of responses. (6 points)

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