Let's face it: This spot is really fun to add/do pop quiz questions in. It's fun to learn neat new facts and it's fun to surprise others with some new facts. But there are two problems that can make an otherwise awesome pop quiz into a dud!
Problem 1: Facts That... Aren't!
A lot of facts AREN'T actually a fact - especially on the internet! A lot of "strange facts" sites are FILLED with inaccurate or downright FALSE statements that are just commonly believed to be true. That doesn't make them actually true! Remember, anyone can say anything is "true" on the internet - but that doesn't make it so. Research your facts before making a pop quiz question about them. That "stranger than fiction" fact you just found might very well BE fiction!
Watch for these common pitfalls:
1. "Facts" that exist only to shock or awe. There are a lot of gross "facts" that exist only to frighten or gross out people, but have no truth behind them.
2. "Facts" that couldn't possibly be proven. Think about it. Is your "fact" something that a scientist could actually sit down and PROVE? Is it something the world of science would even bother to try to prove? Without proof, it's only a myth or conjecture. Which means it's just as likely not true as it is true!
3. Facts that are misconstrued or misrepresented to sound like something they're not. Example: "A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth." This is false. "A dog's mouth contains fewer bacteria that are harmful to humans than a human's mouth contains." This is true. There's only a slight difference in wording, but a HUGE difference in meaning.
So beware presenting myths as facts in your quiz questions. Make sure your facts ARE facts before you present them to others! (And if you find out they're NOT true, go ahead and make a quiz question about it NOT being a fact! It's fun to bust "unbelievable" myths, too! :))
Problem 2: True... False... Neither?
Okay. So you're all ready with your fact that IS a fact. Now it's time to make a question. That's the easy part... most times. But there's one common pitfall here - and it comes with true/false questions.
Make doubly sure that your true/false statement IS actually true or false! For starters, make sure to proofread. A missing word or a typo could easily make your "true" statement not true!
Another common mistake is with less than / more than statements. Let's use an example here. We'll assume this is a true fact that we want to present in a true/false question: "Jane has more than $50 in her wallet." Now let's look at some possible true/false ways to present this.
"Jane has more than $50 in her wallet." This is TRUE. It's also a little unimaginative and we certainly wouldn't want to do every question that way! So let's look at some others.
"Jane has more than $25 in her wallet." A trick question! This is false, right? WRONG. It's true. If we know Jane has more than $50, we ALSO know she has more than $25. $50 is more than $25, after all... and we know she has at least $50.
"Jane has more than $75 in her wallet." Another trick question! This is false, right? WRONG again! We have no way of knowing how much MORE than $50 Jane has. She might have more than $75, but she might have somewhere between $50 and $75. So this statement is entirely unknown.
"Jane has less than $50 in her wallet." Another try for a trick question. Is it false? YES! This one is false - and a good example of a trick question.
"Jane has $25 in her wallet." Another trick question! Is this one false? YES! This is another trick question that works.
The same goes for exact numbers. Say we know Jane has exactly 6 $10 bills in her wallet. What about these true/false statements?
"Jane has 3 $10 bills." False, right? WRONG! This is true. Jane has 3 $10 bills in her wallet (plus 3 more!).
"Jane has 8 $10 bills." False, right? RIGHT! This is a false statement that works.
So remember: Make sure you're not presenting a factually true statement as a false one!
Using these tips, we can all work at continuing to make one of the funnest pop quiz sections on Fanpop! :)
(This article isn't intended to be aimed at any one user. These are really common mistakes that are totally easy to make! So I'm not picking on anyone or pointing fingers here. Just trying to make Fanpop a better place for everybody :))