I recently went through a draft student project. While their literature review and understanding of pairwise relationships was great, the presentation of a complex literature and set of predictions wasn’t as clear as it could be. The apparent complexity or volume of things to talk about perhaps obscured the simple solution that (as a fresh pair of eyes) I could see.

My recommendation was to produce a simple scatter matrix plot of predictions in the introduction, followed by a similar plot of data in the results. The pic below is what they came up with.

Just by doing this task, I think it helped the student understand how all the ideas related. Their introduction, in particular how they presented their hypotheses based upon previous literature, was vastly improved. I think I am going to use this as a teaching method with all my students now.

I think you could do quite a bit more in terms of clarity however. It could be quite nice to visually distinguish between measures and highlight the key hypotheses, something like this…

Let’s ignore that there is some reordering of variables etc… The point is:

- The student got lost in the complexity of their literature review,
- Using a very simple data visualisation
* of their predictions as well as their data* made a vast difference in how they understood and communicated their ideas.

*Related*