Writing with Statistics
The purpose of this paper is to provide some general guidance in the writing of papers using statistics and associated tests. The paper provides some general tips for writing and the use of statistics. An example prompt is included, followed by a sample paper.
General Tips for Writing a Math Paper:
- Turn your prompt into headings for paper sections. This will help you to make sure you include all of the required information and analysis. It also helps the reader identify the material.
- Your paper needs:
- A separate title page using APA style requirements (running header, page numbers, course, instructor, your name, date, etc.).
- An introduction (often a summary or abstract of the problem).
- A body of the paper that answers the questions posed in the problem and includes calculations and graphs associated with this problem. This is where you can turn your prompt into headings. All references need to be properly cited.
- A conclusion paragraph that addresses your findings and what you have determined from the data and your analysis.
- A separate sheet for references.
- There are templates that use APA style that you can insert your material into. If you really struggle with formatting, this may be an option for your first paper or two. If you use a template, remember to double-check it to remove any extra instructions or pages or other elements that weren’t used.
- In general, numbers less than 10 are to be written in word form. However, if you have numbers in this range that carry decimals, write them in numeral form.
- Never use or interpret a statistic or test that you don’t fully understand.
- Target your audience and present as much information as necessary to allow the reader to make an independent interpretation.
- Make use of graphs and tables to display information in an easily understood manner. Format them the same throughout, and make sure you don’t manipulate axes.
- If you are referring to a statistic that is less commonly used, explain how you calculated it. (It is not necessary to explain mean, but it may be necessary to explain how you set up an ANOVA test.)
- Be clear about your sample and its corresponding population.
- Be direct in writing descriptive statistics (The mean in Group A is 22.9 units.).
- Translate the meaning of the statistic for the reader. Write plainly and then back it up with statistical evidence. For example: Men and women scored equally well on this study (t = 0.25, p < 0.01).
Website transactions are an important segment of sales and distribution today. Heavenly Chocolates manufactures and sells quality chocolates at its plant and retail store in Bozeman, MT. Three years ago, the company developed a website and began sales on the internet. Website sales have exceeded expectations and management is now considering strategies to continue to increase its sales. To learn more about its sales, Heavenly Chocolates selected a sample of 50 random transactions from its previous month’s sales. The transaction data shows the day of the week the purchase was made, the type of browser used in the transaction, the time spent on the website, the number of website pages viewed, and the amount spent by the customer. The data is shown in a file named Chocolate.
Heavenly Chocolates would like to determine if time spent on the website or the number of pages viewed influence the total purchase. They would also like to examine any effect that day of the week and browser type have on sales.
Prepare a report (see below) using the numerical methods of descriptive statistics presented in this module to learn how the variables contribute to the sales of chocolate. Be sure to include the following four (4) items in your report.
- Descriptive statistics (mean, median, range, and standard deviation) for each of the three variables along with an explanation of what the descriptive statistics tell us about the sales.
- A breakdown using descriptive statistics examining the effect of days of the week on sales. Evaluate the results.
- A breakdown using descriptive statistics examining the effect of browser type on sales. Evaluate the results.
- Descriptive statistics (correlation coefficient) showing the relationship between sales (in dollars), and each of the other two variables. Evaluate the relationships between sales (in dollars) and each of the other variables (time spent and pages visited). Use tables, charts, graphs, or visual dashboards to support your conclusions. Make recommendations for continuing to develop sales to the management.