Skip to main content

Com 395 - Science Writing and Reporting

This is a guide for Roberta Kelly's Communication 395 class.

COVID-19 Updates

Please note: while we try to keep our guides as up-to-date as possible, the most current information on WSU Pullman Library operations and Services can be found at the links below:

20 Tips for Interpreting Scientific Claims

A useful, brief, and readable article on how to critically interpret scientific claims and research, written for non-scientists.

The Baloney Detection Kit: Michael Shermer

The Ten Questions

  1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
  2. Does the source make similar claims?
  3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
  4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
  5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
  6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
  7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
  8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
  9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
  10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

Bad Science: Ben Goldacre

And for some great examples of bad science and bad science reporting -

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us