Writing a statistics essay is quite different from the kind of essay writing you are probably used to, as it requires a completely different set of skills and competencies to successfully complete. Students excelling at all other types of essays may find themselves confused by its requirements, and vice versa, those usually struggling with their written assignments are often praised for the clarity and curtness of expression.
The primary goal of a statistics essay is to report the quantitative findings of research; beautiful turns of phrase and brilliant reasoning are far less important than the ability to present facts in a meaningful sequence and make logical conclusions based on them.
If you experience problems with your statistics essay writing, you’ve come to the right place – in this guide you will find all the information necessary to write your own texts of this type without any additional help.
The most important characteristic of a topic you should look out for is that it should be firmly grounded in facts. If the subject matter is vague and unquantifiable, then it doesn’t suit your purposes. As for other characteristics of a good topic, consider:
Here are a few options you can use as examples:
As you can see, statistics can deal with virtually any area of human knowledge; so don’t be afraid of choosing a topic that looks unusual both to you and your instructor.
Writing an essay without a clear-cut plan will lead to waste of time, effort and energy. Students who write following a plan they prepared beforehand complete their work faster, don’t forget to mention crucial details and write in a more structured and organized manner, getting better grades and enjoying a good reputation with their instructors as a result.
That’s why preparing an outline is a crucial step in writing any text, and it shouldn’t be omitted. Structurally, a statistics essay consists of the following parts:
Your essay may include these parts without individual headings, but if you want to make your paper easier to navigate you can add them.
Collecting your own data to write a statistics essay is usually not worth it. Data gathering is a complicated, extremely time-consuming and often thankless task, and an essay is usually too small an assignment to call for such investments of time and effort. Remember, the primary goal of statistics essay writing is to teach you how to analyze the information, not how to gather it, and it is exactly what the majority of your time should be dedicated to.
This means that the majority of your information will come from other sources: peer-reviewed papers, data sets, books, reports, articles, anywhere you can find it.
In addition to libraries and online databases, there are plenty of opportunities for getting reliable statistical information on the Internet. The exact places will vary depending on your discipline. For example, Pew Research Center is an excellent source of reports and statistics covering social trends both in the United States and abroad. Population Reference Bureau is a treasure trove of information on population, environment and health statistics. If you need information on more specific topics, there are plenty of resources covering narrower fields, like Uniform Crime Reporting (criminal justice), Homeland Security immigration statistics (immigration) or labor statistics by the Department of Labor.
As for other sources of information that don’t have a credible organization behind them, you have to be very careful about their credibility. Always check the following:
Answering these questions will give you a good indication of whether a particular source can be trusted.
You should start with a reason why you believe your topic to be worthy of research. For example, you may state that it is an area of established interest or, vice versa, belongs to a relatively new area of study. However, no matter how new and original the topic of your essay is, it cannot exist in isolation from the existing body of research – each essay should contain at least one reference to prior research on the subject related to its topic, and the introduction is a good place to mention it.
A thesis statement is, in short, a boiled-down version of your essay’s main idea. For example, if you study the correlations between the gross national product and literacy levels (the topic), your thesis statement may be something like “According to statistics, the greater gross national product per capita, the higher the literacy rate in the country”.
A thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction and meet the following requirements:
Body paragraphs serve to either prove or disprove the hypothesis you’ve mentioned in your thesis statement through facts and their analysis. A hypothesis is an assertion that isn’t initially supported by facts but gains credibility in the course of attempts to disprove it. Of course, it is more fulfilling to propose and support a hypothesis you find true after testing it, but it may be an interesting intellectual exercise to do exactly the opposite: propose a hypothesis and refute it on your own. Remember: whether the body of evidence ends up supporting or disproving your hypothesis by itself doesn’t influence your grade, only the quality of your research work does.
Here are some general statistics essay writing tips you should take into account when writing your body paragraphs:
Here you summarize your research and provide a link to the broader problem you’ve mentioned in the introduction. There isn’t much to say about this part – you simply provide a short summary of your work and conclusions you’ve come to. Did your research support or refute your initial hypothesis? If your hypothesis was supported, how applicable your theory is (how much variance does it cover?)? Answer these questions, and your conclusion will be alright.
If you don’t neglect the proofreading stage, your chances of getting a good grade greatly increase – students often miss mistakes, both grammatical and stylistic, while they write and reread their essay immediately after finishing it.
Writing a statistics essay may be quite unlike anything else you did in the course of your academic career, but with the help of this statistics essay writing guide, you will be able to acquire the necessary experience to deal with it just as easily as with any assignment you are used to.