I started learning statistics because my supervisor asked me to I find it really useful and mind-opening. In the early days, I mainly consulted Andy Field’s textbook Discovering Statistics Using R – if you are okay with numerous examples that involve sperms and childhood anecdotes, I’d say give it a try. Alternatively, there’s Probabilistic Models in the Study of Language (in progress) and Quantitative Methods in Linguistics, both of which are tailor-made for us linguists.

Speaking from my very limited experience, however, the best way to learn statistics with R is to just sit down and spend hours on some actual data (and maybe call your mom and cry every other hour). I prefer studying alone (or occasionally with my imaginary friends), so whenever a problem occurs, my strategy is to google it, youtube it, or stackexchange it before begging a stats God for their help. Bottom line: there are numerous ways to learn stats and R, but you won’t actually learn anything unless you make it relevant for you.

Ramblings aside, here are some materials that I have been using regularly with the hope that one day I will turn into an R magician myself. Thanks to the people mentioned here, I have eventually made peace with statistics and even started to have fun with it! (Wait, how? Find out at the end of this page!)









(My “data cake”, inspired by the #barbarplots campaign)


Tips & tutorials from R ninjas
Awesome stats blogs
Websites for general resources
  • R Bloggers: a blog full of R news and tutorials, contributed by hundreds of R bloggers
  • StatsBlogs: similar to R Bloggers, contributed by stats bloggers
Modeling & Analyses
Cheat sheets for plotting in R


And finally…… Fun with R (no kidding)!
  • Suffering from the imposter syndrome? Have R say sweet things to you by using the praise package.


  • Party of #rcatladies: check out the cats package for cat-related functions, including how to grab a random cat from the internet. For other animals, see the cowsay package.


  • Games in R: there’s the sudoku package, and the fun package which includes the classical Mine sweeper, gomoku, and sliding puzzles.