Final Project – Step 1: Story Pitch due Tues., Nov. 27

Your Final Project will be a data story of your choosing.

We will discuss the requirements and presentation later. For now, I want you to focus on your idea and your data.

Here are suggestions for how to come up with a topic…

  1. Start with a topic that you are interested in.
  2. Think about questions you have? Frame your story as a question.
  3. Try to narrow it down a particular focus. Keep it concrete, specific and simple.
  4. Think about access. Can you go places and talk to people for your topic?
  5. Start searching for where and how you might obtain the data you need.

Some examples of students’ Final Projects from the past:

  • Are fashion magazine’s cover models becoming more racially/ethnically diverse?
  • Which comic series – DC or Marvel – has the most diverse cast of characters?
  • Are “Five Star” High School football recruits destined for NFL success?
  • Has Rowan’s baseball team “small ball” strategy led to success?
  • How much student debt do Rowan students have compared to other schools in New Jersey? How does the debt affect their post-graduate decisions?
  • Will Philadelphia adopt dockless bike sharing? What can they learn from other cities who already have it?
  • What are the most dangerous areas for pedestrians near Rowan University?
  • A growing number of universities are donating unused food to food banks and charities. How does Rowan’s efforts compare to others?
  • Why does Lonzo Ball get talked about so much on social media?
  • Who is the worst pitcher in baseball history?
  • Why do Rowan students not use the shuttle service?
  • Why are the same songs performed over and over on “American Idol?”
  • How many undocumented students attend Rowan? Is the university doing enough to support them?
  • A few years ago Rowan proposed a plan to help students graduate in 3 years by going to school year around. Are many students are taking advantage of it?
  • Has Rowan increased fees for parking permits over the past five years? Where does that money go?

I will check in with you verbally on Tuesday, Nov. 20 before we leave for Thanksgiving.

You will pitch your official graded pitch on by Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Here’s how you are going to pitch your story:

Post your Pitch and Data Plan to in the following format…

Your Name’s Final Project Pitch and Data Plan

Pitch: Tell me:

  • What is your story?
  • Why is it interesting?
  • Where could you pitch it? (Take this seriously. Find a real publication where you think you could pitch your story.)

Sources of data: I’m using the following sources:

  • Source with link if available
  • Or if you are creating your own data set through surveys or some other means, tell me your plan.

Story framed as question(s): I am looking to answer the following question(s):

  • Question 1
  • Question 2 (if needed)
  • Question 3 (if needed)

It should look something like this…

Sam’s Final Project Pitch

Pitch: My story is about the NBA draft and how important draft position is too yielding a star player. It is interesting because there is the perception that teams need to get the first overall pick to draft a superstar, but many of the league’s star players today were drafted outside of the top 2, 5, and even 10 picks. I am writing it for a sports blog like SBNation. In addition to looking at exactly how important position, it is interesting because I will be comparing the results of my findings to the “Tanking” strategy that was employed by the Sixers over the last three years and find out if this draft based style of rebuild is a viable strategy for NBA teams.

Sources of data: I will be using the records of NBA drafts dating back to the 1970’s and player performance metrics such as MVP voting, scoring averages, First and Second All-NBA teams, Championships won, and more to create tiers of star players over the decades and then chart their draft positions.

Questions: I am looking to answer these questions…

  • At what draft position are NBA teams most likely to draft a superstar?
  • How often do superstar players get drafted outside of the top 10?
  • Is the Sixers “tanking” strategy a viable rebuild plan for NBA teams in the future?
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