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ENG 198: Saxton

How Do You Know?

Information is everywhere we are and coming in faster than ever before. Peer-reviewed scholarly articles and .edu or .gov websites are go-to sources of credible information, but sometimes they are not the only useful sources for research. It often makes sense to use other types of information in your work - but how do you know that it is reliable?

Evaluating the sources you use for your assignments is important. Better sources = better research, and evaluating sources is a critical part of the research process. This page provides a list of tools to use for evaluating information you find on the internet, and can be used in your coursework and in your life outside of school. 

SIFT (The Four Moves)

SIFT, also known as “The Four Moves”, is a 4-step task list for evaluating information on the internet. It is a quick tool for evaluating news and information you find on the open web. The ‘four moves’ of SIFT are: 

  • Stop: Don't cite or share information until you know what it is. Period.
  • Investigate: This is the 30 second gut check. Before you even click on something, hover over it to see if it's what you think it is.
  • Find : Cross-check the information by seeking additional sources about it.
  • Trace: Check the date, check the source - what is the original context of a quote, a video, or a photo?

Image Source: https://hapgood.us/2019/06/19/sift-the-four-moves/

Evaluate Your Sources with SIFT

Try out one of these guides to use SIFT on your own:

CRAAP Test

The CRAAP test is a technique for evaluating sources based on your situation and information needs. CRAAP is a framework for assessing:

  • Currency: How timely is the information? Is it up to date? 

  • Relevance: Is the information relevant to your topic or question? Is it contextually appropriate? Who is the intended audience?

  • Authority: What is the source of the information? Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

  • Accuracy: How reliable, truthful, and correct is the information? 

  • Purpose: Why does the information exist? What is its intent?

Image Source: https://oercommons.org/authoring/54677-media-bias-handout/view 

Evaluate Your Sources with CRAAP

Ready to use CRAAP on your own? Here are three simple guides to make it quick:

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