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A methods box is a short news story or sidebar that accompanies poll stories and provides methodological details and clarifications about the survey, including how the respondents were sampled, how the interviews were conducted, the process of weighting the results, and the survey's possible error.

Many newspapers include a boxed feature (sometimes in a smaller type size) alongside a major poll story, and most television networks include the equivalent on their Web sites with details about their survey methodology. For example, it is policy at The New York Times that a methods box accompanies all articles that focus on a New York Times/CBS News Poll or a New York Times Poll.

There are different rules at other papers. The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times include ...

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