Evaluating Information

Is the source CREDIBLE?

Remember the 5 W's...

(1) WHO?

Who is the author?

Things to consider:

  • Do they provide contact information to check their credentials?
    Examples: Short biography, Email link, "About Us" page
  • Are they an expert on the topic?
  • Are they a journalist affiliated with a well-known news agency?
    Examples: Associated Press, WIS, Tween Tribune
  • Have they written several articles on the topic?
  • Do they accept responsibility for the content?

(2) What?

What information is included?

Things to consider:

  • Is the information accurate?
  • Is the information complete?
  • Does it differ from other sources written about the same topic?
  • Is it biased (presenting only 1 side of the story)?

(3) When?

When was the information written?

Things to consider:

  • Is it current (published or updated recently)?

(4) Where?

Where is the information coming from?

Things to consider:

  • Is the information from a trusted source?
    Examples: Time for Kids, World Book, DISCUS
  • Is the information from someone's personal blog or Wikipedia?
  • Did a teacher or librarian recommend it?

(5) Why?

Why was it written?

Things to consider:

  • To inform or teach?
  • To persuade?
  • To entertain?
  • To sell a product?

Try It!

Click on the Website Evaluator and copy and paste in the URL of a website. A series of questions will help you determine if the website is credible.


Do you think this website is credible?

http://www.thedogisland.com/index.html


Do you think this article is credible?

http://tweentribune.com/teen/fast-food-chains-feel-need-get-real

Remember: Watch out for biased information and hoaxes!

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