How should my question be rephrased such that you will reopen it?

3+ dependent variables, which test for measuring dependency?

I'm essentially trying to figure out how to show the relationship between 3—or more—categorical variables, to infer:

  • An HD in the pre-course exam means you will get an HD in the final
  • An P in the mid-course exam means a C in the final

&etc., with corresponding probabilities (incl. p values).

  • $\begingroup$ When I read the original question I did not see it as meaning what the examples you cite above mean. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, okay I've added more details from this clarifying question $\endgroup$
    – A T
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


This is not an answer - but it's too big for a comment. Your writing is simply unreadable. It might be salvageable if you used good practices for scientific writing. Here are the specific complaints.

  1. Your question is not written in complete sentences. Remarks like this are meaningless:

    Given performance in columns, what is a predictor for which?... Generalise for any number of exams between pre and final.

  2. You refer to things that don't exist, like "row ID" and "student number" when there is no row ID nor student number.
  3. You excessively use dependent clauses. I found this line the most unreadable of all:

    So, for example—using the regular Fail (F) is < 50; Pass (P) is ≥50 & ≤75; Distinction (D) is >75 & ≤ 85; and High Distinction (HD) is >85—show which exam—and quartile—predicts a more favourable final exam outcome?

  4. You don't define terms, then seem to use different terms equivalently, "marks", "columns", "outcome", "categorical variables", "quartiles" all seem to refer to one or more exam marks.
  5. You use shorthand and lazy typing when you need to specific. Here, what other "corresponding probabilities" might you be talking about. And what else could &etc. possibly mean?

    &etc., with corresponding probabilities (incl. p values).

  6. Your writing is full of unnecessary adverbs:

    Given the following dataset... I'm essentially trying to figure out...What test can I use for numerically explaining.."

As a tip: when people are confused on a subject, they tend to explain "wide" when they need to explain "deep". If you use consistent terminology, follow a structured format (like data - task - problem), and permit yourself only one question mark, the writing could be improved significantly.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 These are all suggestions that will improve your scientific writing well beyond simply improving your linked and closed question. For further aid, I can recommend the textbook Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers by Mimi Zeiger (which is applicable to scientific writing in general, although she's couched biomedical). $\endgroup$
    – Alexis
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 23:04

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