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English 105 - College Writing: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources for Credibility by NC State University Libraries is used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.  

SIFT Method - Investigating Claims



This method of evaluation is based on lateral reading, a research technique used to quickly fact check a claim.  Learn more about The SIFT Method (The Four Moves).

Infographic from SIFT (The Four Moves) by Mike Caulfield used under CC BY 4.0 license 


1. STOP: Are you familiar with this source and its reputation?  What is your information need?  Is a quick check on the source enough,perhaps for a re-post, or am I using this for research and need to fact check every claim?

2. INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE: Know what you are reading.  Open another tab and search for the publication title or the author's name.  What do others say about this source?  (Not just what they say about themselves!)

3. FIND TRUSTED COVERAGE:  Do other known or better sources make the same claim?  

4. TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, AND MEDIA BACK TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT:  Go back to the original source.  Information in its original context is best for your own interpretation and evaluation. 

Evaluate Sources Like a Pro


Evaluate Sources Like a Pro by Lindsey Gumb used under a CC BY 4.0 license 

Media Bias Tool - The Media Bias Chart

This is a tool depicting where sources fall regarding credibility and liberal/conservative measures.  You should be aware of bias in any source, including this one.   Click on the hyperlink below the image to see a larger version of the chart.

Media Bias Chart (2020) licensed copy acquired through Ad Fontes Media, Inc. via Infobase webinar attendance, 8/13/2020.  See Ad Fontes website for a current chart. 

Media Bias Tool - Allsides