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Prof. Gaughan - Writing & Research - English 101: Online Resources

The Conversation

U.S. Government Statistics

Below are a selection of websites that may be of use when writing your paper. Most provide statistical information on various aspects of the U.S. Population (crime, health, education etc). There are usually tables subdividing each by race, for comparisions between difference population group.

When using online sources, but sure to apply recommended evaluation criteria before using any information in your research paper.



Using Polls and Statistics

When you use statistical information, it is not enough to simply say X% of people approve or disapprove of a certain issue. Opinions change over time and depend on the demographics of the group being polled. Note the following:

Who collected the data/took the poll?

When was this infomation collected?

What group was surveyed?

How big was the group?

What kind of information was being collected?


E.g. A 2013 Pew Research poll showed that although 69% of of U.S. adults surveyed felt that the obesity problem in the U.S. was either' Extremely' or 'Very Serious,' only 42% felt that the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity.

"Public Agrees on Obesity's Impact, Not Government's Role." Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center. 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 13. Nov. 2013.

Be careful to note the language used in the data: e.g. 'significant role' compared to 'role'.

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