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3. Assess Source Credibility

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On the Internet, you can find information about any topic imaginable, but it is not always clear who is sharing the information or for what purpose.

Some webpages are not regulated or reviewed for accuracy, and not all of the information you find on the internet is reliable, current, balanced, or true.

Some sites deliberately share false information.

Others are biased or share information that cannot be verified.

In this video, you will evaluate the sources your Google Search returned to determine whether or not they are credible.

It is important to evaluate information sources even when you are not working on an assignment for a class.

You may see an article posted on social media that seems far-fetched.

Or you might see an advertisement for a product that seems too good to be true.

If you are writing for work or school, using a source that is not credible may cause you to include incorrect information in your paper or report.

To determine if a source is credible, ask yourself these types of basic questions: Who is the author of the source?

Are they an expert in the field?

Perform a quick internet search to find out more about the author to find out if they are real and trustworthy.

To get clues about a source, look at the web link.

For example, if the URL ends in “.gov,” it is a website produced by government agencies in the United States.

“.edu” indicates that a site is a college, university, or other educational site.

“.org” indicates that the site is managed by an organization, although anyone can have a “.org” ending for their website, even for-profit companies.

Most websites also have an “About Us” page that tells more about the individual, organization, or business that owns the website.

Next, read the article.

What is its purpose?

Is it designed to sell you something?

Does it state facts and evidence, or only offer opinions?

Do the facts in the article contradict something you already know?

If the article makes outlandish claims or says the opposite of something you know to be true, perform an internet search to investigate further.

If you can verify the content on at least three different sites, you can usually assume it is true.

Then, check when the source was written.

Depending on your topic, older articles may be outdated or no longer relevant.

Finally, ask where the information comes from.

Reliable sources often contain a references section or links to where they got their information as well as the author of the source.

Checking these references helps you verify the information in the article and be sure that the source is trustworthy.

As you read through each source for your paper, ask yourself these questions to assess its credibility.

If you find that one of the sources from your search is NOT credible, strikethrough it in your document.

Unlike deleting the source, digitally crossing out the text will help you remember that you already assessed that source for credibility.

When you strikethrough text, a thin line appears through it.

You can still read the name of the source, but you’ll remember not to use that source in your paper.

Now, it’s your turn: Assess your sources for credibility.

Ask yourself questions like: “Who wrote this source?”

“What is its purpose?”

“When was it written?”

“Where does it get its information?”

If you find that one of your sources is NOT credible, strike through the title and description in your document.

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Instructions
  1. Assess your sources for credibility. Ask yourself questions like:
    • “Who wrote the source?”
    • “What is its purpose?”
    • “When was it written?”
    • “Where does it get its information?”
  2. If you find that one of your sources is *NOT* credible, strike through the title and description in your document.