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How do you know if your information is reliable?
Nhandler. Dog in Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.
Ask questions about all your information sources.
General sources like brief summaries are full of very readable information on your social issue
you can end up with incorrect, out-dated and or highly biased information if you are not careful!
Maybe it was easy to find, but is it good?
Assess: Does this information belong in my academic project or is it .... CRAP?
- How recent is the information?
- If a website, how recently has it been updated?
- Is it current enough for your topic? (Is this a field with rapidly changing information?)
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
- Does the creator provide citations or sources?
- Can you verify the info elsewhere?
Authority / Accuracy
- Can you find the credentials of the author or creator of the information?
- If a website, is a known, objective organization responsible for the information (example: .gov, .org, .edu domains)?
- Are there obvious errors or typos?
Purpose / Point of View
- Is the information fact or opinion?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Are there advertisements?
- Is the creator/author trying to:
- Sell you something?
- Inform you?
- What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information? Can you determine if the publisher has a political, religious, or other ideology to promote?