How to Write a Statistical Paper


In any statistical study, analyzing the data is only half the battle. You must then write a paper that outlines your research questions, describes the data collected and methodology employed, presents the results of the analysis and reports the conclusions and applicable recommendations. Most papers that use statistical analyses, whether written for a business or for an academic journal or conference, contain these sections. Following a logical sequence of steps will make preparing a statistical analysis report a more manageable task.

  • Introduce your paper by describing the subject at hand, stating the key questions posed by your research. If your paper is for an academic conference or journal, you also should describe how your paper will fit into the broader body of knowledge about the subject matter your paper will explore.

  • Summarize the existing research in your subject area by writing a literature review section. The literature review examines previous studies in a specific field and describes how the research in this field has developed. You may omit this step if your paper is for a business. A business-oriented report should outline the problem as described in Step 1 and proceed to Steps 3, 4 and 5.

  • Describe the data collected and statistical analysis methods you employed. If your data came from a survey and you plan to analyze the data using factor analysis, describe the questionnaire and its purpose. Provide an explanation of factor analysis and why this method is most appropriate for your statistical study.

  • Report the results of your statistical analysis. This section will form the main body of your statistical paper. Use data tables and graphics, such as pie charts, bar charts and scatter plots to describe results. Pie charts are excellent for summarizing financial data, while bar charts effectively demonstrate differences in the data. The text of your paper that refers to a table or chart should briefly summarize the most important findings in the visual element, not simply regurgitate your data. In addition, the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University advises cautious use of statistical jargon. Briefly explain statistical procedures, if necessary.

  • Complete a conclusions or recommendations section. Highlight the major findings of your statistical study, making sure that your conclusions and recommendations are supported by your analysis.

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