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Summer Student Guide

Summer Student Guide


Marjorie Postal is the School for Social Work Research Instructor and Analyst. She is available to assist M.S.W. students who choose to conduct a quantitative thesis. Specifically, she provides support in the following areas:

Instrument design

Marjorie is available to help students who are designing their own data collection instrument. This includes helping to identify any problems in how questions are asked, suggesting ways to ask the questions that will help in terms of data analysis, ensuring all hypotheses or research questions are addressed in the survey, and anticipating any coding issues that should be considered before the instrument is used. She can also help students who are setting up online surveys using SurveyMonkey. This help includes advice on designing the survey and instructions on downloading data for analysis.

Coding and Scoring Data

Students will need to code their surveys and create a codebook for Marjorie to work from. A codebook simply assigns a name to each question on the survey, and assigns numbers to responses (e.g., l=yes, 2=no). Instructions and codebook forms are in the Coding and Statistical Analysis Handbook, which is posted in Moodle. Marjorie can help with this process. She can also help students interpret any scoring instructions that need to be used with an existing instrument.

Data file Creation and Analysis

Marjorie imports data collected by students into SPSS where she runs frequencies, descriptive statistics, and appropriate inferential statistical tests.


Marjorie can help interpret statistical results, and provide guidelines for writing up findings.

Marjorie's office is in Lilly Hall, Room 201. If you want to meet, there is a sign up sheet outside her office during the summer, or you can contact her by phone at (413) 585-7975 or via email at to set up an appointment.