# Statistical Report Writing

Topics: Statistics, Ernest Gowers, The Complete Plain Words Pages: 11 (3501 words) Published: March 6, 2011
Statistical Report Writing
School of Mathematics , The University of Manchester.Contents 1 Summary 2
2 Introduction 2
3 Structure 2
3.1 Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3.2 Summary/Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3.3 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3.4 Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3.5 Results, conclusions and recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3.6 General discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.8 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 4 Content 5

5 Presentation 5
5.1 Figures, Plots, diagrams, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 5.2 Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 5.3 Computer output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 6 Use of English 6

7 Style 7
8 Detailed Preparation 8
9 Afterwards 8
10 References 9
11 Appendix: Statistics project reports - some interesting quotes 10 11 Summary
As the work environment grows in complexity, the importance of skillful commu- nication becomes essential. In addition to the need to develop adequate statistical skills you will ¯nd it necessary to e®ectively communicate to others the results of statistical studies. It is of little use performing complex and sophisticated statis- tical analyses if the conclusions of such analyses are not meaningfully transmitted to the rest of the community.

This document gives general guidance about the writing of reports, with par- ticular reference to statistical reports following a statistical analysis. While this is immediately relevant for some of the courses you are taking, it may also be of help to you in your future job(s), some of which will hopefully use statistics. 2 Introduction

An essential part of a statistician's work is concerned with presenting his results to \customers" who are not usually too conversant with statistics. These notes are aimed at helping you to present your statistical analyses more clearly. We shall consider the following aspects of report writing:

1. Structure.
2. Content.
3. Presentation.
4. Use of English
5. Style.
6. Detailed preparation.
Your main aim in report writing is to get your message across. Anything which diminishes your report's clarity or tends to irritate the reader will detract from this goal. Higham (1993) is an excellent book which deals with the more general challenge of mathematical writing. It is available in the John Rylands University Library.

3 Structure
There are various possibilities; the following one has many advantages. The report is made up of several components, listed below in the order in which they should appear. Some reports may well be better split up into sections, while shorter reports will not require as full a structure as suggested below. At all 2costs, avoid the narrative approach, which says \First I did this, then I did that, etc." Such approaches make the report di±cult to follow.

3.1 Title
Every report needs a title, preferably on a separate title page, which should also include the author's address and department or other a±liation, and the date. The title should be short and informative. Titles such as "Project 1" or "Coursework 1" are non-informative and as such totally unacceptable; so is a title such as "The statistical analysis of two data sets".

3.2 Summary/Abstract
A brief summary { the shorter the better, and certainly no more than half a page { should follow, to tell the reader what the report is about, in general terms, and why it may be worth reading (!). A summary/abstract should contain a skeleton outline of

² the problem,
² what you have done,
and should not, if at all possible, use symbols or numbers, and should contain technical terms...