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The Chicago Guide to Writing About Numbersby Jane E. Miller
Synopses & Reviews
People who work well with numbers are often stymied by how to write about them. Those who don't often work with numbers have an even tougher time trying to put them into words. For instance, scientists and policy analysts learn to calculate and interpret numbers, but not how to explain them to a general audience. Students learn about gathering data and using statistical techniques, but not how to write about their results. And readers struggling to make sense of numerical information are often left confused by poor explanations. Many books elucidate the art of writing, but books on writing about numbers are nonexistent.
Until now. Here, Jane Miller, an experienced research methods and statistics teacher, gives writers the assistance they need. The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers helps bridge the gap between good quantitative analysis and good expository writing. Field-tested with students and professionals alike, this book shows writers how to think about numbers during the writing process.
Miller begins with twelve principles that lay the foundation for good writing about numbers. Conveyed with real-world examples, these principles help writers assess and evaluate the best strategy for representing numbers. She next discusses the fundamental tools for presenting numbers — tables, charts, examples, and analogies — and shows how to use these tools within the framework of the twelve principles to organize and write a complete paper.
By providing basic guidelines for successfully using numbers in prose, The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers will help writers of all kinds clearly and effectively tell a story with numbers as evidence. Readers and writers everywhere will be grateful for this much-needed mentor.
"A most original work — a how-to guide for just about anyone trying to write (or talk) about numeric data. Miller's is a mentor's voice." Joel Best
The Chicago Guide to Writing About Numbers helps bridge the gap between good quantitative analysis and good expository writing. Field tested with students and professionals alike, this book will help writers of all kinds clearly and effectively tell a story using numbers as evidence.
Jane Miller, an experienced research methods and statistics teacher, begins with twelve principles that lay the foundation for good writing about numbers. Conveyed with real world examples, these principles help writers evaluate the best strategy for representing numbers. Miller then discusses the fundamental tools for presenting numbers; tables, charts, examples, and analogies, and shows how to use these tools within the framework of the twelve principles to organize and write a complete paper.
The Chicago Guide to writing About Numbers will be the first book writers turn to for advice on presenting numbers effectively. Readers and writers everywhere will be grateful for this much needed mentor.
About the Author
Jane E. Miller is associate professor in the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Trained as a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania, she has taught research methods and statistics for more than a decade. She has also written an advanced volume on the same topic, The Chicago Guide to Writing About Multivariate Analysis, to be published in Spring 2005.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Boxes
1. Why Write about Numbers?
Part I. Principles
2. Seven Basic Principles
3. Causality, Statistical Significance, and Substantive Significance
4. Technical but Important: Five More Basic Principles
Part II. Tools
5. Types of Quantitative Comparison
6. Creating Effective Tables
7. Creating Effective Charts
8. Choosing Effective Examples and Analogies
Part III. Pulling It All Together
9. Writing about Distributions and Associations
10. Writing about Data and Methods
11. Writing Introductions, Results, and Conclusions
12. Speaking about Numbers
Appendix A. Implementing "Generalization, Example, Exceptions" (GEE)
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