How to ask a statistics question

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To get a good answer, you must write a good question. Answering a statistics question without context is like boxing blindfolded. You might knock your opponent out, or you might break your hand on the ring post.

What goes into a good question?

  1. Tell us the PROBLEM you are trying to solve. That is, the substantive problem, not the statistical aspects.

  2. Tell us what math and statistics you know. If you've had one course in Introductory Stat, then it won't make sense for us to give you an answer full of mixed model theory..

  3. Tell us what data you have, where it came from, what is missing, how many variables, what are the Dependent Variables (DVs) and Independent Variables (IVs) - if any, and anything else we need to know about the data..

  4. THEN, and ONLY THEN tell us what you've tried, why you aren't happy, and so on. Remember, this is a SAS community and it's a good idea to provide some code implementing your analysis.

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