Statistics to Support Research: Why & How to Use Stats

How to find, evaluate, and write about statistics in your research

Why Use Statistics?

What can statistics do?

  • Strengthen your argument
  • Provide objective information so you can debate arguments
  • Put an argument into context

Things you need to consider:

  • Statistics in and of themselves can't make the argument for you
  • Like direct quotations from outside sources, you must interpret statistics and apply them to the point you are making
  • Treat statistics as evidence that requires interpretation.

The Research Process

How to Use Statistics in Your Writing

Want to get a better idea of how to use statistics in your writing? 

Writing with Statistics The Purdue Online Writing Lab explains how to write with statistics including quick tips, writing descriptive statistics, writing inferential statistics, and using visuals with statistics. 

This Statistics handout from The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, helps you to use statistics to make your argument as effectively as possible.



The Norton Field Guide to Writing

For a better understanding of why and how to use statistics in your writing, read the chapter on "Arguing" in The Norton Field Guide to Writing, pages 397-417.

Copies are on reserve at the Circulation Desk in Columbus Hall and are also available at the Reference Desk in Moeller Hall at the Delaware campus.  

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