The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers
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.
Data need a context: a figure or two tells you little. The fundamental questions of journalism—who, what, when, and where—have to be answered in charts too. Although Ms. Miller's book is chiefly concerned with writing about numbers, the last chapter gives advice about speaking with numbers. In presentations using visual aids, she says, use no more than one slide a minute."
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)