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Welcome to 2022 Fall!

We are very excited to see new and familiar faces back on campus!

Evaluating Information Online

This guide will help you learn to evaluate information found online quickly, effectively, and easily.

Considerations for Different Types of Resources

Here are some considerations for different types of resources. Some of these may be applicable to all resource types, while others may be specific to one type of resource.

Articles and websites

  • Who wrote the article or webpage?
  • Who funds or funded it?

Images and videos

  • Is there evidence within the image or video that is truly about what the presentation claims it is?
  • What is the original context of the image or video?

Data and Infographics

  • Is the data reasonably represented?
  • Does the data support the argument being made?
  • Where did the data originate?

Things to Note

Here are some other points to keep in mind when evaluating online information.

  • Lateral reading gives you a starting place, but not necessarily a stopping place. Be prepared to go back to your original source, taking what you learned about it into account when you read it.
  • A bias does not necessarily render a resource unusable or even unreliable. Every source of information has a bias. Your job is to find and recognize the biases present and understand how they might influence the information being presented.
  • Keep in mind authority and perspective. Authority in this context refers to both the expertise of the author(s) and how the information was produced.
  • Not every website or social media post that you come across will have already been fact checked. You may have to do some leg work yourself, or choose to use a different resource.
  • The bigger a base of trusted resources you build up, the easier and faster lateral reading will be. See the "Additional Resources" page of this guide for suggested trusted resources that are useful for fact checking and source evaluation.