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ENGL 1A Field



You can evaluate any source using the 5 W's:

  • Who: ...wrote it? Are they an expert?
  • What: the purpose of this resource?
  • Where: ...was this information published? ...does the information come from?
  • When: ...was this published or last updated?
  • Why: this resource useful? this resource better than other ones?

This infographic from PCC Library explains how different sources are created and shared, including:

  • Number published per day
  • Whether a source is reviewed and fact-checked
  • The authors background and education
  • Whether they cite outside sources
  • How many words they use
  • How much background you need to understand a source

To find descriptions of different types of sources, click on image of icons for different sources:  tweets, tumblr blogs, Youtube videos, newspapers, popular magazines, professional journals, scholarly journals, academic books, and encyclopedias

Many college assignments require you to use peer reviewed articles, also known as scholarly or academic articles.  This video from NCSU Library explains what peer review means.

Fact-Checking Strategies

Who Published the Site?

To investigate who published this site, leave the Web page itself, open a new tab, and look at what the Web is telling you about the source. For example, look up the publisher on Wikipedia, to quickly check for credibility.

Original vs. Re-Reporting

Go "upstream" to find the original reporting source.

Have Others Already Done the Work?

If a trusted fact-checking site (e.g., Snopes, has already verified your source, then you can rely on their work to save you tons of time!