Reporting on data such as survey results can be a minefield, as journalists often don’t take into consideration — or don’t understand — the margin of error, as the sample of respondents can never represent the population as a whole.

To help you correctly interpret data collected by polls and surveys, Denise-Marie Ordway at Journalist’s Resource rounded up these seven tips on understanding the margin of error.

“The margin of error for an opinion poll indicates how close the match is likely to be between the responses of the people in the poll and those of the population as a whole,” writes Ordway.

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