Put Data in Figures or Tables

Try reading this paragraph:

The majority of patients were smokers (n=872, 89.4%), and 350 (35.9%) had a history of alcohol intake. The site of the primary tumor included the glottic larynx (668 [68.5%]), supraglottic larynx (289 [29.6%]) and subglottic larynx (18 [1.8%]). Of them, 491 (50.4%) had a T1-2 in tumor stage, and 484 (49.6%) had a T3-4 in tumor stage. One hundred eighty-three patients (18.8%) had lymph node metastasis

As you can see, lots of numbers are often tedious to read and impossible to remember. That’s why you want to avoid weighing down your text with too much data. When you write, focus on just describing the results. Only include the most pertinent numbers. You can put supporting data in the figures and tables. Also, avoid repeating numbers that are already in your tables and figures.

Here’s that same paragraph, with most of the numbers stripped out or simplified

Almost 90% of patients were smokers, and 36% had a history of alcohol intake (Table 2).Of primary tumors, two-thirds were in the glottic larynx and one-third was in the supraglottic larynx. About half the tumors were T1-2 and half in T3-4, and about 20% of patients had lymph node metastasis.