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Student Research Guide: False Information About Climate Change: Advice to My Fellow-Students

by Ava Ronning

Research Advice

In my research, I had to be careful that I wasn't finding misinformation. It was rare, but there were a few articles I came across that sounded scientific but were from heavily biased sources and statistics were taken out of context. I would recommend being sparing with searching the keyword "fake news" because it can come up with sources like these. I would also recommend looking up the sources of information to make sure each source is reliable and scholarly.

Lewandowsky and Brulle are two authors that came up multiple times. They appear to have focuses in climate change and/or environmental issues.

By researching this topic, my suspicions were more than confirmed about the fossil fuel industry- I figured that the industry has spread false information, but I learned just how deliberate these companies are with disinformation. None of my pre-conceived notions were disproved, but I did gain more context and learn about the motives behind major proponents of false information.

After doing this project, I feel like I have a better understanding of how and why false information spreads, both about climate change and in general. As for doing research in general, I feel like I gained some great organizational skills. My most helpful organization tip is to keep a "master document" of all your sources, even the ones you might not use. I would also recommend writing notes under each one, and avoiding direct quotes unless you feel it's really necessary. 

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