Module 23 - Short Reports
Chapter 23 - Short Reports
Appendix 23-E: A Survey Write-Up Example
Kitty O. Locker 4 October 2, 2005
Though I believe that my results were accurate, my data have several limitations. While there was no bias
on my part in the way that my subjects were chosen, I did not have a random sample, so I cannot assume
that what was true of my sample is necessarily true of all students at the University.
Another factor which might have affected the results of my survey was the inaccuracy of my subjects'
answers. Though I did try to design my survey so that people could be as truthful as possible there is no
way of knowing whether the information my subjects gave me is correct. However, even an experienced
pollster like Louis Harris can never be sure of the truth of his subjects' answers--no matter how well
written the questions to the survey are.
I believe that despite the limitations of my survey the results are basically correct. Why? Because I
believe that people need to use highlighters as an aid to the learning process.
Psychologists have proven through experimentation that novelty is needed to learn. One experiment
which illustrates this point was conducted by a Dr. Rosenzweig. He raised two groups of monkeys from
infancy in two different types of environments to see how environment affects the learning abilities of
One group was raised in an enriched environment consisting of a brightly painted playpen filled with all
sorts of toys. The second group of moneys was raised in an impoverished environment, confined to dark
and drab cages with no toys. When the monkeys reached maturity, Dr. Rosenzweig found that monkeys
from the enriched environment were considerably smarter than those from the impoverished environment.
The results of this experiment showed that when there are novelties or toys of some sort present in an
environment learning capabilities of an organism present in that environment are enhanced.
Highlighters are a sort of toy for students. Studying can bore a student and cause the mind to wander.
However, using a highlighter can make a student concentrate better. The student is concentrating when he
highlights something, but he or she may also be playing in a sense. I have often seen people highlight
whole pages of a book at a time.
Thus, it isn't merely coincidence that people who use highlighters to study have higher GPAs. My survey
reveals an interesting thing about a basic human behavior--learning. Without some type of novelty the
learning process is inhibited resulting in lower GPAs. Highlighters provide the needed novelty to make
students study better and help raise their grade points.
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