Dissertation Writing

Writing a dissertation is no easy task. This site is devoted to solving the mystery of writing a perfect dissertation.

Dissertation Editing

Have already written your dissertation? Learn how to polish it up using simple, though valuable tips and tricks.

Dissertation Writing Problems

Dissertation resources

Where To Look Up Reliable Dissertation Statistics?

If you’re engaged in the process of writing a dissertation, you need more than just your own, novel research question and the research materials you have personally reviewed yourself. You also need to augment or supplement your theoretical and concrete work with descriptive statistics and background information from other researchers.

Finding reliable, useful statistics for use in a dissertation, however, can be very difficult, since the internet is so flooded with information of varying degrees of accuracy. Here are some tips for locating useful statistics that you can rely on to be accurate, and which your dissertation committee won’t doubt for a second.

Figures from Government Agencies

Whether you live in the United States, Canada, the UK, the EU, or anywhere else, the odds are good that your government collects detailed, well-organized data on nearly every topic of social, financial, cultural, or political importance. These are usually the very best sources to begin with when conducting archival research.

Let’s take the United States for example. The United States Census Bureau (census.gov) collects data on everything from marriage rates to income levels to religious identification. Their statistics will be reliable and useful for anyone in the sociology, history, psychology, political science, economics, or related fields.

If you are interested in voting behavior and public opinions on important social issues, the National Election Survey (electionstudies.org), conducted every year, provides amazingly detailed statistics on all these issues. If you are interested in education statistics, the National Center for Education Studies (nces.gov) is rife with information.

Use International Sources

Organizations such as the Worldbank (wordlbank.org) and the World Health Organization (who.org) also collect extremely detailed data on the financial, health, and social status of citizens of nearly all the world’s nations. Like the above sources, these international sources provide statistics that have been validated and are highly reliable; they are used by governmental organizations across the globe. Even better, each site has archives that go back decades, so you can look up information both current and historical.

Use Others’ Research

It can also be useful to look up studies that are relevant to your dissertation topic, using a quick search on Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) or your favorite academic research search engine. If you are interested in a topic, the odds are good that other researchers have conducted related work that can yield useful statistics for your own studies. Make sure you only cite statistics from proper journal articles that are peer-reviewed (check the first page of the article). If the article has been published, that’s a guarantee the statistics have been vetted and are reliable.

By following these handful of tips, you can ensure you have a healthy body of background information on which to build your dissertation.