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Data Analysis and Interpretation: How to write your statistical report
Formatting for your report and word count
Reports should be typed in at least point 12 font using a standard legible font style such as Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial or similar. A size 10 font may be used for tables. Number the pages of your report and use 1.5 spacing.
Word count (excludes title page, reference list and appendices): No more than 3,500 words
Please note that anything over the word limit will incur a penalty by loss of marks. Please state the word count at the end of your assignment – these will be checked.
Writing your report
An important part of the process of science is the communication of results to the wider scientific community in a more or less standard format. You need to learn this format, and how to write up the results of your studies within it.
These general guidelines aim to assist you in developing your report writing skills.
Your report should follow the general plan of a research paper in a Public Health journal. It should give the rationale for your research, methods, results and implications of your findings. These descriptions and explanations must be full, precise and concise. This is to allow efficient communication of your research findings and to allow other researchers to repeat your study. Therefore, you have to squeeze a lot of information into a short report which is nevertheless easy to read.
Sections of the report
Your report should consist of sections with the following headings, which should always be presented in this order:
This is a format that is customary in most Biomedical/health/public health journals.
Please click this link for a simple template: https://moodle.brookes.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=2213662
Background Reading and References
You will be expected to refer to articles and/or books which you have read, to provide some basis for the theories, predictions or explanations related to your hypotheses - analyses. All the background information citations that you used should be set out in the Reference List.
Sections of the Report in more detail
End the introduction by describing the overall aim of the analyses for example ‘the aim was to investigate risk factors for cardiovascular disease’ or ‘the aim was to examine factors associated with quality of life in adult men.’
Introduction should NOT include:
Study Design and data collection
You are conducting a secondary analysis of existing data previously gathered for another study. The survey collected data about general lifestyle behaviours, health outcomes and sociodemographic variables from a sample of adults in the UK.
Structure this section with headings for each of the assignment instructions.
In this section you will state your hypotheses that address each of the assignment questions. Then describe the methods of analysis. Make sure you cover the points listed below as appropriate.
Report one sample size calculation for one of your chosen analyses.
Participants/Sample characteristics (step 2)
Hypotheses (step 3 a-c)
The main result(s) and your conclusion(s) should be summarised in the main report, but the SPSS output must be included in an Appendix NOT in the main report. The Results section must NOT contain details of calculations or computer printouts.
Leave all comments on your results to the Discussion section. If you have a number of research questions, you can structure the Results section to deal with each in turn - research question by research question.
Figures (graphs) and tables
Figures such as graphs and histograms can display and summarise your results in a way which is easy to understand - they should be accompanied by a verbal description or comment; however, they are not always very precise. So you may decide to show a Table of the numerical data instead of a Figure.
Figures and Tables need a title and are numbered.
You can produce graphs using Excel or SPSS. But do NOT simply copy and paste whichever Tables and Graphs that appear in the SPSS output – create your own.
Discussion and Interpretation of Findings
Strengths and Limitations
Conclusion and Recommendations
You will have done some background reading on the topic of your research question. You need to list all the sources mentioned in the report, in enough detail to allow others to find them.
You may also use the ‘Cite Them Right’ website to guide the format. I am looking for Harvard referencing that is consistently presented and allows the reader to find your sources. Referencing WILL BE CHECKED!
Appendices need to be numbered (in a logical order) and labelled (descriptive title for each appendix). 3500
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