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Evaluating Online Information

Investigate a Source with Lateral Reading

When you see an interesting article online, pause and think about where it comes from--do you know and trust the website or source of information? Don't read the claims in the article or share it to social media (or your research paper!) until you know more about the source. 

In order to investigate the source, we need to leave that source and figure out what others have said about it. This is called lateral reading--researching about a source across other websites and publications. 

Fact Check Like a Pro

The Wikipedia Trick

This video shows how to use Wikipedia to efficiently learn more about sources and claims (this video clip starts halfway through the full video)

Other Fact-Checking Strategies

Find out what other sources say about a website:

  • search in Google: websitename.com -site:websitename.com
  • example Google search: naturalnews.com -site:naturalnews.com
  • This will bring up search results ABOUT the website but will exclude results from the website itself

Search for a claim on a fact-checking website:

  • search in Google: search terms site: x (where "search terms" is the claim and "x" is the name of a fact-checking site)
  • example: Biden red meat site: snopes 
  • This will float fact-checking sites about the claim in question to the top of your search results list

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