About the Author

Diane Swanson

Diane Swanson has been researching and writing nature books for children for over 25 years. Her work has been recognized with many awards, including the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. Her titles have been regularly selected for the “our choice” list by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. A frequent guest speaker at conferences on nature for kids, she lives in Victoria, B.C.

Books by this Author
A Crash of Rhinos, A Party of Jays

A Crash of Rhinos, A Party of Jays

The Wacky Ways We Name Animal Groups
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : zoology
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Animal Aha!

Animal Aha!

Thrilling Discoveries in Wildlife Science
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : zoology
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Buffalo Sunrise

Buffalo Sunrise

The Story Of A North American Giant
edition:Paperback
tagged : mammals
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Bugs Up Close

Bugs Up Close

by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Paul Davidson
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Burp!

Burp!

The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read About Eating
by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Rose Cowles
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged : biology
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Cheetah Cubs and Beetle Grubs

Cheetah Cubs and Beetle Grubs

The Wacky Ways We Name Young Animals
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Coyotes in the Crosswalk

Coyotes in the Crosswalk

Canadian Wildlife in the City
edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Hmm?

Hmm?

The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read about Memory
by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Rose Cowles
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : biology
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Nibbling on Einstein's Brain

Nibbling on Einstein's Brain

The Good, the Bad and the Bogus in Science
by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Warren Clark
edition:Hardcover
also available: Hardcover Paperback Paperback
tagged : philosophy
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Excerpt
From Chapter 2, Science Watch

 

Baloney Buster 12: Questioning Questionable Questions

 

Beside wording question carefully, good researchers avoid asking poor questions through pretesting -- trying out the questions on a sample of people similar to the test subjects. After a pretest, the researchers discuss the questions with the people who answered them. The object is to learn which questions were too hard, too confusing, or too limiting. That information helps the researchers pinpoint questions that should be reworded, dropped, or added.

Here are some examples of questions before pretesting and the changes that might result. Unfortunately, poor researchers seldom pretest their questions, so they don't catch problems before they carry out their studies.

Before Pretest: Do you ever watch hockey and soccer on TV? Problem: Combining two questions. After Pretest: Do you ever watch hockey on TV?
Do you ever watch soccer on TV?

Before Pretest: Like most people your age, do you watch TV documentaries only rarely? Problem: Biased After Pretest: How often do you watch TV documentaries?
- frequently? - occasionally? - rarely? - never?

Before Pretest: About how much time do you spend watching TV in a normal week? Problem: No problem After Pretest: No change is needed

Before Pretest: What impact has TV had on your family? Problem: Unanswerable. Respondent can't say how TV affects each individual After Pretest: Drop the question.

ALWAYS ASK: Were the questions pretested? YOUR TURN: Try your own question pretest. Ask some of your friends the unanswerable question and the vague question in Baloney Buster #11, and see what kinds of responses you get. Then ask your friends why they had a tough time answering.

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Safari Beneath the Sea

Safari Beneath the Sea

The Wonder World of the North Pacific Coast
edition:Paperback
tagged : marine life
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The Dentist and You

The Dentist and You

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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The Doctor and You

The Doctor and You

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Turn it Loose

Turn it Loose

The Scientist in Absolutely Everybody
by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Warren Clark
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : careers
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Up Close: Feet That Suck And Feed

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Up Close: Headgear That Hides and Plays

edition:Hardcover
tagged :
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Up Close: Noses That Plow And Poke

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Up Close: Skin That Slimes and Scares

edition:Hardcover
tagged :
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Up Close: Tails That Talk And Fly

edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Up Close: Teeth That Stab And Grind

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Wonder in Water

Wonder in Water

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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You Are Weird

You Are Weird

Your Body’s Peculiar Parts and Funny Functions
by Diane Swanson
illustrated by Kathy Boake
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
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