If there’s one college assignment I had to do which I could force on all college students, it’d be this paper I had to write for a Research Methods class. It was later in the semester, and the professor gave us a very straightforward assignment: you need to find a news article which reports on the results of an academic study, read the actual study, and then explain in detail why the article did not properly represent the study’s findings.

Not only was having to do that a really useful exercise in terms of figuring out how misinformation gets passed around, but talking with a class of 25 other students who all had to do the same thing for 25 different articles makes you realize that the majority of all “studies show…” news articles misrepresent the studies they’re based on

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