How to Write a Research Essay in Statistics

Writing guide
Posted on August 9, 2019

Statistics is a type of social activity, the purpose of which is to collect, process and analyze information that characterizes various manifestations of social life (socio-political, technical-economic, cultural and many others) in their inseparable interaction.

This method has something in common with the mathematical concept of statistical accounting, respectively, the subject is mainly studied by students of mathematical and economic faculties. To demonstrate the fullness of the knowledge of the discipline and to enable the teacher to adequately evaluate them, the student must independently write an essay on statistics. In this article, we will explain what you need to do, how and why.

Start with the Definition of the Object – What You Need to Explore

The object of research in applied statistics is the statistical data obtained as a result of observations or experiments. Statistical data is a collection of objects (observations, cases) and signs (variables) characterizing them. For example, the objects of study may be countries of the world and features, namely, their geographical and economic indicators characterizing:

  • continent;
  • terrain height above sea level;
  • average annual temperature;
  • country’s place in the list of quality of life, the share of GDP per capita;
  • public spending on health, education, army;
  • average life expectancy;
  • unemployment rate;
  • life quality index, etc.

Variables are values that can take on different values as a result of the measurement.

Based on the Object, Choose the Research Method

Here are the main scientific methods of collecting information for your statistical essay.

Statistical Observation

Statistical observation is a planned, organized and systematic collection of information, aimed mainly at the phenomena of social life. This method is implemented through the registration of the previously defined most prominent features, the purpose of which is to subsequently obtain the characteristics of the phenomena being studied.

Summary and Grouping of Materials of Statistical Observation

Speaking about the second method, first of all, it should be said about the summary. A summary is a process of processing certain single facts that form a common set of data collected during an observation. If the summary is carried out correctly, a huge amount of single data on individual objects of observation can turn into a whole complex of statistical tables and results. Also, this study contributes to the definition of common features and patterns of the phenomena studied.

Absolute and Relative Statistics

Absolute quantities are considered the very first form of presentation of statistical data. With its help, it is possible to impart dimensional characteristics to phenomena, for example, by time, by length, by volume, by area, by mass, etc.

If you want to know about individual absolute statistics, you can resort to measuring, estimating, counting or weighing. And if you need to get the final volume indicators, you should use a summary and grouping. It should be borne in mind that the absolute statistical values are distinguished by the presence of units of measure. These units include value, labor, and natural quantities.

Variation Series

In some cases, the data on the average indices of one or another of the studied quantities may not be enough to carry out the processing, evaluation and in-depth analysis of a certain phenomenon or process. Then it is necessary to consider the variation of indicators of individual units, which also represents an important characteristic of the studied set of phenomena.


The meaning of the sampling method is that the properties of one part determine the numerical characteristics of the whole (this is called the general population). The basis of the sampling method is internal communication, which unites the parts and the whole, the individual and the general.

Correlation and Regression Analysis

Correlation analysis and regression analysis are two highly effective methods that allow analyzing large amounts of data to study the possible relationship between two or more indicators.

Dynamic Series

Using this method of statistical analysis, it is very convenient to determine the intensity or speed with which phenomena develop, to find the tendency of their development, to isolate fluctuations, to compare the dynamics of development, to find the interrelation of the phenomena developing in time.

How to Choose a Method: 3 Examples

The choice of a statistical criterion for the processing of empirical data is determined by the empirical research scheme.

  • If the essay is intended to identify differences in the severity of indicators in the two comparative groups, the Mann-Whitney U-test or Student’s t-test can be used.
  • If the statistical essay is intended to identify the relationships between certain parameters, then correlation analysis can be used. In particular, the Pearson correlation coefficient or the Spearman rank correlation coefficient is suitable for the calculation.
  • If the essay involves formative and control experiments, then you may need to compare the severity of a particular indicator. For this, the Wilcoxon test or the G-sign test is appropriate.

3 Pillars of a Statistical Research Essay

As we have said, the main purpose of writing an essay is the formation of high professional qualities (skills) of a statistician-practitioner. The content of the essay, as a rule, is disclosed in three interrelated sections:

  • General provisions and questions of statistical accounting;
  • Questions of statistical analysis;
  • Problem-solving.

This structure of the essay allows the student to fully disclose the purpose, meaning, methodology, technique, and organization of statistical work within each topic, to state the statistical methodology, based on the relevance of the tasks of socio-economic development.

For the teacher, this is a practical opportunity to control the depth and accuracy of students’ knowledge of the statistical methodology of accounting and analysis of economic phenomena, techniques, and ways of working with statistical indicators, tables, graphs, diagrams.

Start with a Plan

After studying the literary sources, students should make their own individual essay plan based on an approximate list of questions given in each topic. The degree of generalization or differentiation of questions in each section of the topic is determined by the student independently (depending on the interest shown, the possibility of selecting literature or factual material, etc.). Within each section of the work, the student must disclose at least three related questions.

Go to the Body of Your Statistics Research Essay

Part 1
General provisions should be stated by the student in the form of a brief description of the economic side of the issue, the role, and tasks of statistics, sources of official statistical data
performance of enterprises.

The student must correctly reflect the target setting, the economic sense, methodology, technique and organization of statistical accounting for the size of economic signs. An understanding of the degree of relevance and relevance of considering a particular statistical indicator (or group of indicators) in the modern practice of estimating, stimulating and managing the economy should be primarily reflected in the work plan, in references to new official documents and materials.

Part 2
The second part of the paper (Questions of statistical analysis) should reflect the essence of specific methods of statistical generalization and analysis of indicators considered by the essay. The content of statistical methods, calculation formulas, stages of calculations, the system of the interrelation of indicators are mandatory for this section. It is advisable to cover all issues on a specific numerical example with the subsequent economic and statistical interpretation of the results obtained; the construction of meaningful conclusions is a mandatory requirement of any economic and statistical calculation.

Along with the above questions in the essay, it is necessary to show concrete examples of methods and techniques of the statistical study of socio-economic phenomena: the index method, factor analysis, the definition of closeness.

Important! The presentation of theoretical material should be accompanied by specific links to the relevant pages of the literary source, a table of source data, illustrated with specific numerical examples. The ability to substantively, concisely and accurately investigate the essence of the problem is expressed in the extensive use of tabular, graphics and other visual image methods. The work must have at least three graphs.

Part 3
In the third part of the work (the solution of a practical problem) the student must practically show the quality of mastering the basic theoretical questions of the topic. The student must be able to rationally, accurately and convincingly perform a number of statistical calculations that allow him to fully and conclusively answer the questions posed in the problem statement.
It is important to remember here that arithmetic calculations must proceed from the accepted calculation formulas, the latter must be expanded, sequentially stated; the main results of the calculations should be briefly explained, summarized or analyzed; it is possible to conduct a comparative analysis with data from another country or enterprise.
If there are several methods for calculating one indicator or another, the simplest of them should be applied, indicating (for control purposes or balance of the obtained solution) other methods of the solution as well.

What You Need to Remember When Making a Conclusion in a Statistical Essay

Statistical findings are used to summarize data from the sample in relation to the entire population. Random errors characteristic of a sample study can lead to the fact that the sample will not be a sufficiently accurate model of the population. In fact, the sample is never a model of the general population at 100%, but only its more or less distorted version. In order to estimate such distortions and, therefore, to draw more accurate conclusions about the general population, statistical conclusions are used.

First of all, they allow the student to assess the likelihood that the relationships identified in the sample, differences, magnitudes, etc. are characteristic exclusively for the sample, but not for the general population.

The logic is as follows: if such a probability is high, then a decision is made according to which the sampling parameters are not characteristic of the general population and vice versa – if such a probability is low, then it is considered that the corresponding sampling parameters speak about the parameters of the general population.

It is important to remember that the achievement of a 100% guarantee that the results obtained in the study are characteristic of the general population is possible only when a complete study has been conducted, i.e. survey of all representatives of the general population. But this is not a study by a sampling method and it does not involve the use of statistical conclusions.

In the most general form, statistical conclusions can be divided into two groups:

  • interval estimation (construction of the interval in which the mean value or proportion of the general population should fall into a given probability);
  • verification of statistical hypotheses (the probabilistic conclusion that certain parameters of the sample reflect (or not) the parameters of the entire population).

Some Interesting Topics to Research Essays in Statistics

After you understand the basics of how to write an essay on statistics, let’s look at a list of interesting topics that you can explore.

  • The Methodology of Statistical Studies of the Reliability of Commercial Banks;
  • The Methodology of Statistical Research of the Processes of Formation, Distribution, and Use of Income of the Population;
  • Problems of the Statistical Study of Emergency Environmental Situations of Man-Made Nature;
  • Cost of Agricultural Products: Factors and Analysis Methodology;
  • Statistical Analysis of the State of the Stock Market and Forecasting the Stock Price of Corporate Issuers;
  • Statistical Reporting of Credit Institutions and Its Reform at the Present Stage;
  • Statistical Analysis and Forecasting of the Stock Market Using Neural Network Algorithms;
  • Statistical Analysis of the Cyclical Demographic Processes;
  • Economic and Statistical Analysis of the State and Development of Foreign Trade and Tourism in Laos;
  • Economic and Statistical Study of the Exchange Rates of the Cis Countries;
  • Economic and Statistical Study of the Functioning of the International Labor Market;
  • Statistical Analysis of the Residential Real Estate Market in a Certain City;
  • Statistical Study of the Dynamics of the Birth Rate of the Population of Sri Lanka;
  • Economic and Statistical Modeling of the Social Sphere: Methodology and Analysis;
  • Economic and Statistical Research of the Government Securities Market;
  • Methodological Problems of Improving the System of Environmental Statistics Indicators;
  • Indicators of the Standard of Living of the Population in French Statistics and Their Analysis;
  • Statistical Study of Employment and Women’s Health Status.
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