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POLS 212: Legislative Research: Evaluating Information

ACT UP PRESENTATION

PLAY THIS GAME!

 

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How good are you at spotting fake news? Try this game and see!

CONFIRMATION BIAS

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Evaluating Websites, Articles, and Books

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Should I trust this information?

1. Who wrote it? Do they have credentials? Who are they working for?

Note: Bias can be okay as long as you have identified it in your final product/paper, and/or your aim is to compare viewpoints.

2. What do they have to gain by putting this information out there?
3. For websites, Is it an .edu, .org, or .gov? These tend to be more reliable sources of information than .com, .net, etc.
4. For books and articles, who published it?
5. When was the information last updated, and is that okay with you?
6. Are there links to studies or sources, or a bibliography? Is the source material being represented correctly?

Note: Beatley Library's books and articles are specially chosen for your use in research. If you have questions about evaluating information, a librarian will be able to help you.

TIPS FOR EVALUATING THE NEWS

 

  1. When you open up a news article in your browser, open a second, empty tab.  Use that second window to look up claims, author credentials and organizations that you come across in the article.
  2. Fake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images. 
  3. For images, put them into Google images and search. Verify that what you are seeing corresponds to the event in question.
  4.  Check the account history of the source. Two red flags are: the number of posts and how long the account has been active. If it claims to be a well known source(like CNN or CBS) and only has a few posts in its history that is a clue. If it's a well known source and the account has only been active a short time that is another red flag.
  5. Think before you share.