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New Guide Describes How to More Effectively Approach, Conduct, and Communicate Descriptive Analysis in Education Research

March 29, 2017

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, particularly in education research. Descriptive analysis identifies patterns in data to answer questions about who, what, where, when, and to what extent these patterns are seen. 

The Institute of Education Sciences released a new guide today (March 28) entitled Descriptive analysis in education: A guide for researchers. This guide from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) 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.