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Re: st: A Word to Future Authors

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: A Word to Future Authors
Date   Wed, 10 Aug 2005 09:30:22 -0500

At 09:02 AM 8/10/2005 -0400, Raphael Fraser wrote:
Dear Authors of Stata Books,

I have a complaint about introductory Stata books. Recently, I have
been searching for  "intro to Stata" books to teach masters level
students how to use Stata. Of the two intro books at Stata's book
store none had EXERCISES to reinforce concepts. Why should I buy a
book and create my own exercises? I feel cheated. While these books
I think Hamilton's book is great. I think the real problem is that different people like different things, and there aren't as many books on Stata as there are for other programs. As I wrote in my review of Hamilton's book for the Stata Journal,

"it is also important to acknowledge that, if Hamilton's is the one Stata book that everyone should own, it is partly because there are so few alternatives. If I wish to teach an introductory statistics course using SPSS, I probably have at least a dozen texts to choose from. If I want to teach that course using Stata, Hamilton wins almost by default. As I read Statistics with Stata, I repeatedly found myself thinking of things I would like to see done differently or additionally. However, no one text can do all things; many of the comments that follow are therefore not criticisms of the book, but rather, observations on the kinds of other texts I wish were available. Of course, since such books often are available using other software, those looking for a textbook and who are not wed to the choice of a specific program will want to consider whether, despite all its merits, SWS is the best choice for them...

" good as Hamilton's examples are, instructors who feel that students learn statistics best by seeing relevant examples from their own fields of study should realize that Hamilton does not provide them with the kind of support that many other books will. Particularly for an introductory course where many of the students will never run a statistical package again, the benefits of using a superior program like Stata and a fine general book like Hamilton's will have to be weighed against the advantages of using a text that focuses on examples from the course's discipline."

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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