People who work well with numbers are often stymied by how to write about them. Those who don't often work with numbers have an even tougher time trying to put them into words. For instance, scientists and policy analysts learn to calculate and interpret numbers, but not how to explain them to a general audience. Students learn about gathering data and using statistical techniques, but not how to write about their results. And readers struggling to make sense of numerical information are often left confused by poor explanations. Many books elucidate the art of writing, but books on writing about numbers are nonexistent.
Until now. Here, Jane Miller, an experienced research methods and statistics teacher, gives writers the assistance they need. The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers helps bridge the gap between good quantitative analysis and good expository writing. Field-tested with students and professionals alike, this book shows writers how to think about numbers during the writing process.
Miller begins with twelve principles that lay the foundation for good writing about numbers. Conveyed with real-world examples, these principles help writers assess and evaluate the best strategy for representing numbers. She next discusses the fundamental tools for presenting numbers—tables, charts, examples, and analogies—and shows how to use these tools within the framework of the twelve principles to organize and write a complete paper.
By providing basic guidelines for successfully using numbers in prose, The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers will help writers of all kinds clearly and effectively tell a story with numbers as evidence. Readers and writers everywhere will be grateful for this much-needed mentor.