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Statistics in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Sarah Boslaugh

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Chapter 19. Communicating with Statistics

If you’ve been called upon to do statistics as part of your job or coursework, chances are your responsibility does not end with the calculations—you probably need to communicate the results of those calculations and the conclusions drawn from them to someone else. That someone else might be your boss, a group of coworkers, an audience of professional statisticians, a journalist, your instructors, your classmates…the possibilities are as diverse as the contexts in which statistics are used today.

The key to successful communication is to consider the audience and to shape your writing or presentation appropriately. Sometimes, the expectations are explicit. If you are writing an article for a professional journal, the expected format (covering everything from the parts of the article to the way references should be cited) is probably clearly specified, and you can consult articles previously published in the same journal for further guidance. Writing for a more general audience—as for a daily newspaper or popular magazine—poses a different set of challenges because you need to communicate your major points without confusing your readers (or worse, causing them to simply give up and move on) with a lot of technical jargon. Writing an article or presentation for your workplace poses yet another set of challenges because you must often communicate simultaneously with people of vastly different levels of statistical understanding.

The emphasis ...

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