Statistics 215b D.R. Brillinger
Statistics 215b - Writing the Reports

Here are some things to keep in mind in preparing a report of the results of an analysis.

1. Give the document a structure (perhaps that of a professional paper): Summary, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions, References. Develop an outline first. A wordprocessing package like Latex or Word is to be used.

2. Have the Summary clear and factual.

3. In the Introduction set out "The question", that is the scientific question (or questions) driving the work. Describe the data available.

4. In Methods indicate the important analytic tools to be employed, with associated assumptions and an indication of why.

5. In Results provide the findings (eg. the final models, estimate's s.e.'s, confidence intervals, principal summarizing quantities [numerical & graphical], ...) and especially important points (unexpected predictor variables, ...). Describe examinations carried out of the basic assumptions made.

6. In Discussion and Conclusions set out model and design limitations, suggestions for future work, review the important parts of the analyses. Provide subject matter interpretation of the conclusions.

7. Provide References, as necessary.

8. Provide the important computer output in an Appendix.

9. Label graphs and figures properly.

10. It is a good idea to let the draft sit a while, then reread and modify.

11. Give it some personal flair.