Using Statistics in Writing
Using statistics can help you enrich your argument or perspective. However incorporating statistics into your writing can be challenging. Below are some sources you can use to help use statistics to your advantage in your writing.
Statistics in the Library
- The librarians at Pelletier have separated out our collection of statistics in print from the rest of the reference collection for easier accessability. If you are looking for a statistics collection in print, it will be located in the Reference collection its own section.
Looking for Statistics:
Finding relevent statistics can be a challenge. If you've been doing reading on your topic and statistics are used the chances are the source of those statistics will be cited at the end of the book or paper. This is a great way to get started and start tracking down information. Sometimes it is not abundantly clear what kind of source the statistical information is coming from, whether it be a report or a study or an academic journal article. In these cases, librarians are always ready to help you locate the information you want.
Charts, tables and diagrams can also be useful and should include a citation back to the source of the graphic. Keep an eye out and make note in your readings for things that look interesting and worth pursuing further.
Finding Statistics using Keywords:
If you are familiar with some databases or would like to use some of the databases available at Allegheny to look for data and statistics, using keywords can help. Some useful keywords for pulling out information that has statistics and data include:
Including terms like these in your search may be helpful in narrowing down the number or results you get when doing a search in a database.