When you are asked to write a paper on a particular topic, you need to keep in mind that the entire class is writing on the same issue. Unless you present your paper from a different perspective, your paper won’t stand out and impress the professor. This is where statistics comes in to save your day. Statistical facts will not only add more gravity to your paper but also make it more exclusive.
Now, when it comes to statistical data, you need to be careful about how you use it. Factors like relevancy, positioning, and citing the source come to play. If you are perplexed about presenting statistics in your paper, or the maximum limit, I have come up with this detailed guide to help you out. Read on to find out more about the importance of statistical facts and learn to present them to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Why Is It Important To Use Statistics In Your Writing?
Let me ask you something: Have you ever felt more convinced to vote for a politician when he or she mentioned statistical facts and promised to better it? That is precisely what I am talking about – the very effect of statistics on our minds. If you want to put across a point in your paper and want the readers to be convinced, you must present enough foundation to prove your claims true. At times, sentences cannot explain the efficacy or essence of a sentence that numbers can. Thus, you can say that statistics help people make better decisions. But that is only when you know how to present statistical data appropriately, in ways that compliment your writing.
Suppose you are trying to explain the growth or fall in your country’s GDP. In that case, you certainly cannot mention the change in the GDP using the value of the currency. That won’t be easy to understand. But you can say that the GDP of 2019 had increased by 5% in 2020. That will make more sense. Again, when talking about surveys, saying 7 out of 10 people is better than saying 70% of the majority.
There is more to it! In what follows, you will find a few tips that will help you use statistics in your writing in the right place and the right way. Here you go!
7 Tips on Finding Relevant Statistics and Using them in Your Academic Papers
- Understand the type of statistics you need to use
Start by creating an outline of the points you want to cover to justify the topic. This will help you narrow your focus. Give time in doing background research for a basic familiarity with your topic and explore the words and phrases commonly used by statisticians and statisticians. Also, learn to distinguish between descriptive and inferential statistics to better understand your topic. If need be, take statistics homework help from online experts to be sure.
- Locate relevant studies and polls
Search on the internet using keywords relevant to your topic. Go through research studies and polls. Now, when it comes to studies and polls, and online sources, you must be very careful not to take falsified data from any random sources. Always stick to governmental and official websites for accurate data. For example, when looking for statistics related to the GDP of your country, look in the statistics segment on the official government website. You can also check the website of the Census Bureau of your country.
- Understand the background of the data
To interpret the statistics accurately, try to understand the background of the source from which you have extracted the data, like the study or the poll. In this case, you can use the thumb rule that journalists use – the 5 Ws, which are who, what, when, where, and why. You must find out who carried out the study, what questions were asked, when and why the data was mined. Also, learn to interpret the statistics to know what it means instead of relying on the explanation given by someone else.
- Use statistical terms correctly
Vague terms can lead to confusion. Therefore, when using statistics in your academic paper, use precise terms to help your readers understand how to use the information to draw conclusions. For example, if you are using the word “average”, mention whether you are using the mean value, the median value, or the modal ones. If you do not know the variations of averages, understand the meaning and then define the same for the readers. If you feel you cannot understand which term to use and where do not hesitate to take Academic Writing help from a subject matter expert for some guidance.
- Focus on presentation and readability
Do not go about crowding your paper with statistics just because they help you prove a point. That will end up making your writing clunky and verbose. Moreover, when stating facts, do not provide them in lengthy paragraphs. Instead, create a table or chart to give your readers a subjective perspective. You can also use charts and graphs when referencing the statistical information within your text. Also, make it a point to use graphical elements like colors and fonts to enhance reader understanding. Even when mentioning data in written text, ensure that your paper is readable by reading those paragraphs aloud.
- Choose statistics that support your arguments
When presenting statistical facts in your paper, make sure they apply to the claim you have made and support it. Remember that the numbers you use are neutral. What gives those numbers meaning is your interpretation of those numbers. Even appropriate statistical data can turn out to be meaningless if you provide it in the wrong context. So, you must dig deeper to uncover the real context surrounding the data. You can also compare data to add more meaning to the statistics you provide.
- Cite the source for your statistics correctly
You can add as much as statistical data you want and yet fail to score well in your paper. Let me explain why. Unless you cite the sources you have taken the data from, your readers will only feel that you are fabricating data. So, when you use statistics in an academic paper, do not forget to provide a citation in the footnotes within the text at the end or in the bibliography. A citation will add authority to the data you use, increasing the trust value of your paper. Moreover, readers will know the actual source that they can pore through for more information.
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Using statistics can enhance the quality of your academic paper by notches. Plus, the readers and your professor will also realise the hard work you have put in when reading your paper. So, spend time searching for accurate and relevant facts and include them in your paper in the right context. Use this guide to use statistics to your advantage and score better from now on. All the best!
Author Bio: Mary Jack is a researcher with a Ph.D. in Statistics hailing from Sydney, Australia. She is also associated with the academic brand MyAssignmenthelp.com, where she offers statistics homework help online. In her free time, Mary loves to read books and write informative blogs.