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Determine Credibility (Evaluating)

Using credible and relevant sources is important. Learn what questions to ask and some strategies to apply for determining if your source is or isn't appropriate for your project.

Five C's of Critical Consuming

by John Spencer

#1: Context – Look at the context of the article. When was it written? Where does it come from? Have the events changed since then? Is there any new information that could change your perspective?

#2: Credibility – Check the credibility of the source. Does the site have a reputation for journalistic integrity? Does the author cite credible sources? Or is it satirical? Is it on a list of fake news sites? Is it actually an advertisement posing as a real news story?

#3: Construction. Analyze the construction of the article. What is the bias? Are there any loaded words? Any propaganda techniques? Any omissions that you should look out for? Can you distinguish between the facts and opinions? Or is it simply all speculation?

#4: Corroboration: Corroborate the information with other credible news sources. Make sure it’s not the only source making the claim. If it is, there’s a good chance it’s actually not true.

#5: Compare: Compare it to other news sources to get different perspectives. Find other credible sources from other areas of the ideological or political spectrum to provide nuance and get a bigger picture of what’s actually happening.

Spencer, J. (2016, December 8). Fake News is a Real Problem. Here’s How Students Can Solve It. John Spencer.