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ENG 130 - English Comp: Fact Checking & Evaluating Sources

Fact Checking Websites

Follow information back to the original source

4 Moves & A Habit - Mike Caulfield

When confronted with a claim that may not be 100% true, the following four moves get you closer to the truth:

  1. Check for previous work: Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided an analysis.
  2. Go upstream to the source:  Most web content is not original. Get to the original source of the claim to understand the "trustworthiness" of the information.
  3. Read laterally:  Once you get to the source of a claim, read what other people say about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth is in the network.
  4. Circle back: If you get lost, hit dead ends, or find yourself going down an increasingly confusing rabbit hole, back up and start over.

And there’s also a habit:

Check your emotions: "When you feel strong emotion–-happiness, anger, pride, vindication–-and that emotion pushes you to share a “fact” with others, STOP. Above all, these are the claims that you must fact-check."

From Mike Caulfield,

Beware Media Bias

AllSides Media Bias Chart

Evaluation Tools

Who is behind the information?

Learn More

Check out our research guide dedicated to fact-checking, fake news, and media literacy: