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Freshman English: Evaluating Information

A guide for students in English 1101, 1102, and 1103

Why Evaluate?

Locating information, whether in traditional print format or in electronic format, is only the first step in doing research. The next step is to evaluate the quality and the usefulness of what you find.


How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?  Take this Pew Research Center quiz.

How to Spot Fake News

Ways to Remember


Currency - when was the article, book, or webpage written or updated? Is the info current enough for your topic?

Authority - who wrote the article, book, or webpage? Is there evidence that the author or organization is an expert on this subject?

Reliability - Are there references given for the information provided? Is the information supported by evidence? Can this information be verified?

Purpose - does the article, book, or webpage present fact, opinion, propaganda? Is there a bias? Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, persuade?