ENG 122 8.1: Logos and Statistics Continued

Today’s Plan:

  • Draft 3: Google Drive Permission
  • Messy Paragraphs
  • PEW Center Exercise
  • Leggo My Logos
  • Reading Paragraphs Exercise
  • Homework Volunteers

Messy Paragraphs

One point. Last week I said if you write a paragraph that has more than one idea, then you wrote a mess. I want to revisit this.
Rough drafts often are messy. Thinking is messy.

PEW Center exercise

I want to talk a bit more about working with statistics; there’s a few things that really help a reader understand a methodology. One important element is “sample size”: that is, how many people answered the survey or questionnaire? Also, what is the cross section of the sample size (demographic, sex, race, age, etc information). What steps have the researchers taken to ensure that their sample size reflects the actual American population?

Logos PowerPoint Take 2

Let’s hope the projector works today.

Thinking about my response to the PEW Center exercises, and my discussion of statistics in the PowerPoint, I want to offer the following points of advice when working with statistics. An important walk away here is that numbers have to be qualified, compared, and contextualized. They can never stand alone. A number is only as valuable as the method used to generate it, and it is only meaningful if we can show it.

  • Numbers don’t speak for themselves, so we need to create context:
    • Who generated the number?
    • What methods did they use?
    • What is their sample size?
    • Do they (likely) have a cross section?
  • What makes a number meaningful?
    • How does the number compare to other numbers?
    • What are the limitations of the number?
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