Empirical Direction in Design and Analysis

By Norman H. Anderson | Go to book overview

NOTES
22a
One reason for including a chapter on writing skills in a book on design and analysis is to emphasize that statistical analysis has secondary place in your Results section. Instead, the data and their plain meaning should dominate Results. The Less Is More Principle applies especially to reporting statistical analysis.

This chapter on writing also emphasizes that design and analysis are part of scientific communication. An article is a package of information. Design-analysis and exposition go hand in hand. Good design and good analysis facilitate good writing.

Writing skills, as essential as they are, are utterly neglected in most graduate schools. I have for many years included one lecture on writing in my design-analysis course, but one lecture can barely sensitize students to the issues. A graduate course in scientific writing would be far more effective than any book that relies on self-study.

22.1.4a
The Paragraph Principle is one case of a more general Unit Principle—that unitization of thought and idea is vital for communication. Other basic units are the Sentence and the Section.

The conception of sentences as units is integral to language structure, especially written language. Each written sentence has a beginning, indicated by a capital, and an end, indicated by a period. The capital prepares your mind to receive an idea; the period signals that the idea has now been presented. If the sentence is well-written, enough of that idea will have been communicated to allow you to proceed. Capital and period are basic inventions for organization of thought.

Sections as units are prescribed in the standard format for experimental reports: Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, and References. Further section levels may appear within each of these main sections, indicated by headers. Typical Method and Results sections contain two or three levels of header.

Section unitization has a twofold function. It helps the writer organize the exposition. Similarly, it guides the reader in assimilating the material. The importance of both functions is recognized and formalized in the standard use of headers and sub-headers in scientific communication.

22.1.4b
The Paragraph Principle is universally accepted. Zeiger (1991) uses the two useful terms of Topic Sentence, which corresponds to the present Main Point, and Supporting Sentences, which emphasizes that the paragraph is a conceptual unit, organized under the Topic Sentence.
22.2.8a
A note may be added on first-person style, which is more readable than impersonal style. “I think this result means …” is more alive and interesting than “The present interpretation of this result is .…”

One objection to first-person style is that most writers become self-conscious and awkward with “I” and “we.” Their self intrudes between the reader and the material. With “I think that, ” the writer's opinion begins to displace objective content.

My own objection is that first-person style is just a cosmetic device. It diverts attention from more basic writing problems. Not one of the foregoing principles and tactics has any essential relation to first-person style. By removing your self from what you write, you can better understand what your words will be saying to your reader.

-761-

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Empirical Direction in Design and Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Dedication v
  • Foreword vi
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xvi
  • Chapter 1 - Scientific Inference 1
  • Preface 30
  • Chapter 2 - Statistical Inference 31
  • How to Do Exercises 54
  • Exercises for Chapter 2 54
  • Preface 58
  • Chapter 3 - Elements of Analysis of Variance I 59
  • Notes 75
  • Appendix: How to Randomize 77
  • Exercises for Chapter 3 84
  • Preface 90
  • Chapter 4 - Elements of Analysis of Variance II 91
  • Notes 111
  • Exercises for Chapter 4 113
  • Preface 118
  • Chapter 5 - Factorial Design 119
  • Notes 145
  • Appendix: Hand Calculation for Factorial Design 148
  • Exercises for Chapter 5 151
  • Preface 158
  • Chapter 6 - Repeated Measures Design 159
  • Notes 177
  • Exercises for Chapter 6 181
  • Preface 188
  • Chapter 7 - Understanding Interactions 189
  • Notes 209
  • Exercises for Chapter 7 214
  • Preface 218
  • Chapter 8 - Confounding 219
  • Notes 250
  • Preface 258
  • Chapter 9 - Regression and Correlation 259
  • Notes 280
  • Exercises for Chapter 9 282
  • Preface 286
  • Chapter 10 - Frequency Data and Chi-Square 287
  • Notes 300
  • Exercises for Chapter 10 302
  • Preface 306
  • Chapter 11 - Single Subject Design 307
  • Notes 338
  • Exercises for Chapter 11 345
  • Preface 350
  • Chapter 12 - Nonnormal Data and Unequal Variance 351
  • Notes 373
  • Exercises for Chapter 12 378
  • Preface 382
  • Chapter 13 - Analysis of Covariance 383
  • Notes 395
  • Exercises for Chapter 13 397
  • Preface 400
  • Chapter 14 - Design Topics I 401
  • Notes 431
  • Exercises for Chapter 14 437
  • Preface 442
  • Chapter 15 - Design Topics II 443
  • Notes 475
  • Exercises for Chapter 15 481
  • Preface 484
  • Chapter 16 - Multiple Regression 485
  • Notes 514
  • Exercises for Chapter 16 520
  • Preface 524
  • Chapter 17 - Multiple Comparisons 525
  • Notes 546
  • Exercises for Chapter 17 548
  • Preface 550
  • Chapter 18 - Sundry Topics 551
  • Notes 589
  • Exercises for Chapter 18 596
  • Preface 602
  • Chapter 19 - Foundations of Statistics 603
  • Notes 637
  • Preface 646
  • Chapter 20 - Mathematical Models for Process Analysis 647
  • Notes 677
  • Exercises for Chapter 20 681
  • Preface 688
  • Chapter 21 - Toward Unified Theory 689
  • Notes 729
  • Exercises for Chapter 21 742
  • Preface 750
  • Chapter 22 - Principles and Tactics of Writing Papers 751
  • Notes 761
  • Preface 764
  • Chapter 23 - Lifelong Learning 765
  • Notes 780
  • Preface 782
  • Chapter 0 - Basic Statistical Concepts 783
  • Notes 803
  • Exercises for Chapter 0 805
  • Statistical Tables 808
  • References 820
  • Author Index 847
  • Subject Index 854
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