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Public health and health information are everywhere you turn, but it is important to question the credibility of much of what you read, see on the internet or on TV, by questioning both the source and the validity of the information and the conclusions that are drawn. For this assignment, you will analyze newspaper reporting of a specific health research study within the past year. You may choose any health topic that interests you – the possibilities are nearly endless. Cancer, diet, health insurance, HPV, opioids, climate change, lead poisoning, effects of mass incarceration, or so many others.
Locate an article that reports on a health research study in the past 12 month that was published in one of the following 5 newspapers, which are available in the Sprague Library’s US News stream collection: Chicago Times, L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Through the library’s subscriiption and your MSU login, you may access the full-text from any of these newspapers (and more!).
Read the article carefully:
Examine the headline and any conclusions that are drawn about what factors, behaviors, or exposures lead to or are associated with the particular disease or condition being reported.
Think about what vital and other statistics were used to draw this conclusion, the nature of study (e.g. can you draw a conclusion about causality, or just about association, was it cross-sectional, retrospective, or prospective?).
Locate the original research study that is being reported on. If the article is NOT reporting on an original research study, it can NOT be used for this assignment.
Usually the newspaper report includes the name of the scholarly journal where the article was published (e.g., Preventive Medicine, or Academic Pediatrics, or Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, etc.), and the name of the study’s lead author.
Put those together in a search, perhaps with publication year or any other identifying information, to locate the original article.
Read the abstract and copy down the correct citation using APA format
Write three paragraphs:
Paragraph 1: Summarize the article, including its headline, and the conclusions that it draws. Describe the article using your own words. Do not include direct quotes.
Paragraph 2: Describe the specific research study that the article discusses. Include the citation in MLA style.
Paragraph 3: Discuss whether you believe the data reported in the article appropriately leads to the conclusions and headline, and why or why not?