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Evaluating Sources: Fact Checking, Fake News, and Bias: Home

Evaluation Criteria

To evaluate your sources, you must determine its credibility.

Ask yourself "Is this C.R.A.P.?"

Currency

  • How current is the information?
  • Is the age of the publication likely to impact the conclusions drawn by the author?
  • Is currency important for your topic?

Reliability/Relevancy  

  • Does this work provide you with high quality information?
  • Does this work show signs of bias?
  • Is your topic treated as the main subject, or is it peripheral?
  • Does the information support or disprove your thesis?
  • Is the resource useful to your research need?  

Authority

  • Who is the author of the work, and what are his/her credentials?
  • Who published the work – a scholarly press, commercial publisher, or is it self-published?
  • If it is an online resource, can you determine who the author is?  

Purpose 

  • What is the purpose of the resource?
  • Is the purpose clearly outlined in an introduction or foreword?
  • Is the work’s audience an expert in the field or a lay person?

Overview

The information landscape in the 21st century is littered with questionable information. Although bad information is nothing new, what distinguishes the Information Age from any other era in human history is the sheer volume of information that is available.

  • How do we know which information is true and which is false?
  • How can you be sure that your sources are accurate?
  • What kinds of questions should we ask about sources?
  • What is the difference between fact and opinion, and how do I separate the two?
  • Are people’s opinions entirely subjective, or is there a way of judging opinions objectively?

These are just a few of the questions that we will address...

Spotting Fake News Videos

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Implicit Bias