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ERIC Number: ED573325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 53
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
Descriptive Analysis in Education: A Guide for Researchers. NCEE 2017-4023
Loeb, Susanna; Dynarski, Susan; McFarland, Daniel; Morris, Pamela; Reardon, Sean; Reber, Sarah
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Whether the goal is to identify and describe trends and variation in populations, create new measures of key phenomena, or describe samples in studies aimed at identifying causal effects, description plays a critical role in the scientific process in general and education research in particular. Descriptive analysis identifies patterns in data to answer questions about who, what, where, when, and to what extent. This guide describes how to more effectively approach, conduct, and communicate quantitative descriptive analysis. The primary audience for this guide includes members of the research community who conduct and publish both descriptive and causal studies, although it could also be useful for policymakers and practitioners who are consumers of research findings. The guide contains chapters that discuss the important role descriptive analysis plays; how to approach descriptive analysis; how to conduct descriptive analysis; and how to communicate descriptive analysis findings. The following are appended: (1) Resources Related Especially to Communications and Visualization; and (2) References. [Tom Szuba was a contributing writer for this report.]
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED); Decision Information Resources, Inc.
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0057