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ENG 151 - Source Evaluation

Introduction

With the amount of fake news and continuous advertisements present in the current news cycle, many find it increasingly harder to decipher what is true and what is not. This lack of information literacy can have real world consequences like in voting outcomes and policy making. This guide is intended to provide you with resources you can use to help you evaluate sources, whether it’s potential fake news or a source for a research paper.

Directions: Click through each of the yellow tabs on the left to learn about the research process, how to use the SIFT Method to evaluate information, see some examples, and learn about formats and sources of information. At the end, answer some questions to test your knowledge!

The Importance

Everyday new information is published and copied and retweeted and reposted, whether proper fact-checking has happened or not. Sometimes this is because information is too new, but also because people don't spend the time to make sure what they're posting is accurate. How often do you verify information before quickly sharing it to your social media accounts?

One instance of this that has been in the media lately is this photo from Ukraine. Heralded as a photo of Ukrainian children waving soldiers off to the front-lines, it is actually an image that was taken in 2016.

Just because something might appear as though it fits the narrative, having inaccurate or misleading information will ultimately undermine what you're actually trying to say. 

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Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the ENG 151 information literacy unit, students will be able to:

  • Given a claim, be able to verify if it is true or not.
  • Given a source, determine if it is reliable and trustworthy.
  • Find the original source of a story, study, image, etc.
  • Find a better source on a topic and be able to explain why it is better.
  • Determine if a source is popular or scholarly.