What is it? The two videos below provide good information on the importance of evaluating information sources prior to trusting them, whether you're working on something for school or for some other aspect of your life. There are some specific tools provided under the video on the right that may be helpful if you encounter information online (or even in a database) that you're not sure is trustworthy. The links in the "How to Spot Fake News" section at the bottom of the page are provided as informational items; however, your instructor may ask you to review them.
Why is it important? Your argument (whether writing for school or conversing with a friend) is only as strong as the sources you use to support it. Understanding what makes a source reliable and credible, as well as recognizing bias and understanding whether currency is relevant for your topic, are skills that will be useful beyond your time in college.
How long will it take? Watching the two videos will take about seven minutes; the material below the videos is optional to review, and may take you anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your reading speed and prior familiarity with the concepts.
Each of the following sites provide slightly different methods for thinking about the reliability and trustworthiness of various types of information sources. While the specific questions or points to consider when evaluating sources may differ, they all basically emphasize the same issues. It is important to take these items as a whole...very few are 'deal-breakers;" however, if a source 'fails' the majority of the questions or points, you'd be better off not using it.
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