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Using survey results to profile your audience


This lesson prompts students to synthesize the results from their survey project to determine a large scale profile of their audience’s social media habits and publication preferences. Students begin applying their findings to make actual decisions like a publications staff would.


  • Students will demonstrate how to interpret data, including drawing reasonable conclusions, evaluating possible bias and applying the information to make sound decisions.
  • Students will determine similarities and differences between audience subgroups to draw reasonable conclusions about their audience as a whole.
  • Students will present their personal and group findings to the whole class, explaining their methodology and conclusions and accepting constructive criticism from peers.
  • Students will synthesize the information about all audience subgroups to create a market audience profile that could cover the entire school.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2b Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2c Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2e Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2f Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.A.1 Understand statistics as a process for making inferences about population parameters based on a random sample from that population.
CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.B.6 Evaluate reports based on data.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.A.2 Use data from a random sample to draw inferences about a population with an unknown characteristic of interest. Generate multiple samples (or simulated samples) of the same size to gauge the variation in estimates or predictions.


120-140 minutes (two 60-70 minute classes)


Students’ survey analyses (should bring two copies to class)



Presentation tools (computer, projector, SmartBoard, document camera, overhead, etc.)

Handout: Data interpretation review

Teacher key: Data interpretation review key

Handout: Market analysis profile assignment

Rubric: Collaboration rubric

Rubric: Survey analysis

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Survey collection — 5 minutes

Collect the student groups’ market research survey projects, but prompt them to keep one copy of the urvey analysis to use in class.

2. Review — 15-20 minutes

Conduct the data interpretation review, which serves as a formative assessment to determine students’ readiness to interpret one another’s surveys.

3. Partner work — 20-25 minutes

Pair student groups and prompt them to switch survey analysis results for peer evaluation. Groups should check their peers’ numbers and graphs in the tabulated results section and read through their answers to the audience analysis questions and the synthesized audience profile to determine if the groups have drawn reasonable conclusions about their subgroup.

4. Small group reporting — 10-15 minutes

Paired groups should share their evaluations of one another’s work and make a list of similar trends between their two subgroups.

5. Group reporting — remainder of class

Given time, each pair group should share their results with their classmates and a student leader should take notes on the common trends among all of the groups. This sharing time will probably roll over into the next class period.

6. After class, teacher should photocopy all of the market audience profiles and create a packet to distribute to each student group. The students will use this packet to write their overall market audience profiles for the entire school beginning on Day 2. Leave an extra page in the back for all students to write down the list of common trends the student leader compiles on the board.

Day 2

1. Continue group reporting — time will vary based on groups

Allow the rest of the student paired groups to share their results with their classmates, while a student leader takes notes on the common trends among all of the groups. The length of this sharing time will be determined by the number of total groups and how many were able to present on Day 1.

2. Packet distribution — 5 minutes

Distribute the stapled packets of compiled market audience profiles from the groups to each student, explaining that they now have a copy of a profile for each subgroup.

3. Trend notation from board — 5 minutes

Instruct students to copy the list of common trends among all of the groups on the blank page at the back of their packet.

4. Creating a market audience profile — 30 minutes

Explain to students that the next step is to create a synthesized market audience profile (using the market analysis profile assignment) for the entire school based on the data and audience profiles for each subgroup. This synthesized plan should include suggestions for how to best reach your audience with social media and to improve your publications based on their suggestions.

5. Homework assignment — if needed

Based on available time, students may need to finish writing their profiles and suggestions at home. Once all synthesized profiles have been turned in, photocopy all of the results into a second packet which students can use as a reference when making decisions about how to best serve their audience in future lessons.