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MTH590/INT509 - Project Based Statistics: Home

This guide was created to support the Project Based Statistics class held by Noureddine El Alam at Phillips Academy Andover. It closely aligns with the course syllabus.

Tips for Scientific Success

  • Know alternative names/spellings for your topic
  • Your main focus is to ask a specific research question and answer it using evidence..
  • Start Early. Proper research takes time.  The better your research, the easier you will find writing the paper.  
  • Keep Track of your work. Make sure to have all data to proper cite your research. 
  • Take Time to Review. Edit and reflect on the work you have completed, BEFORE you hand it in.


Here you will find many resources to help you with your Applied Statistics Projects.  Researching for data sets and statistics may be unlike any other research you do at PA. Depending on your individual topic, information can be located anywhere.  The process will require some hard work and diligence on your part. But don't worry! -- this OWHLGuide will help you identify the sources most helpful for your topic. Read the descriptions and suggestions carefully. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me.

Mr. Blake

Finding Statistical Information

Researching for Applied Statistics may be different than the research you have done in your other classes.  Statisticians produce A LOT of data sets and documentation. Sorting through good and bad becomes increasingly important.  Here are a few tips to help you find worthwhile things: 

  • Bibliographic Mining -- Look at the bibliographies of the materials you already have.  This is a  great place to find additional resources that will be helpful to your paper.  Looking at the citation information of the bibliography, you can usually determine if a source was created by a specific institution (i.e. U.S Government) -- you can then go to that institutions' website to look for the document.
  • Use the Journal Finder -- The Journal Finder will search for journal and magazine titles available through the OWHL's databases and Print collection.  It can tell you if the particular year and/or volume of a journal is available.
  • Go beyond books and articles-- Many of the resources you will need are speciality items.  To find the articles, understand some of the differences:
    • Policy Reports -- Usually originate from policy centers or think tanks; they offer economic data to support their positions.
    • Data and Statistics -- Students use data and statistics to prove their theories.  For example, if you are writing about an increase in GDP spending, you should use data to show an increase in said spending.
    • Original Research -- Performed by economists or organizations, these can appear as independent articles, on websites, or in academic journals.
    • Academic Journals -- Authors submit their work to be reviewed by other experts in the field of their field of study (peer reviewed).  If it is acceptable, it can be published in the journal. This is some of the most well respected and authoritative information. 
  • Use the Internet -- Many of the resources you will need/use are not available through books or databases (i.e. JSTOR).  You will need to use Google.  Use it smartly and carefully.  Go to specific sites to find information.  There is a list on the tabs at the top.  Read webpages carefully for original research.  
  • Always read carefully -- As you read reports, blogs, articles, etc... Look for words that will point you in the right direction for other research (i.e. "A recent World Bank research report states..." -- Go and find that research report).

What is Statistics?