Analyzing information

scussion Prompt: Analyzing Information
The following quote is attributed to American writer Rex Stout (1886 1975): There are two types of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.

Speakers often use statistics to support the topic of their speech. It is the responsibility of the speaker, however, to make sure that the statistics are accurate and reliable before using them in the speech.

In this session you will be giving an informative speech in which you will be required to use supporting evidence. This discussion will help you evaluate whether or not the information you find is accurate and reliable enough to use in your speech.

First, find an online news article that uses statistics. An example of such an article can be found at the link below.

Lowy, J. (2011, October 27). Caution: Study questions red-light camera use: Practice could end up putting profits ahead of safety and accuracy, group claims. Life on NBC News. Retrieved from

Once you find your own article, post the link to it and respond to the following questions:

Are the conclusions the author draws from the statistics reasonable? Why or why not?
Who conducted the study/sponsored the research?
What data was processed and how was the statistical information collected?
Are these organizations/individuals credible? Why or why not?
Would you recommend the information provided to be used in an informative speech on this topic? Why or why not?
Session 2s and 3s Biblical Perspectives revolved around being careful about what comes out of your mouth. Why then, from a biblical perspective, is it important to consider the trustworthiness of the sources you use?
(Assignment topic adapted from Afifi, T., & Stucky, J. (2005). Instructors resource manual for Sellnows confident public speaking (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.)