Evaluating Sources and Information

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How to evaluate sources of information, especially websites. Created for use with high school students.

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  • Great job! I'd like to use this in my seventh grade computers class for a reliability/internet unit.
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Evaluating Sources and Information

  1. 1. Evaluating Sources and Information<br />by Sue Heraper<br />Teacher Librarian<br />Newbury Park High School<br />
  2. 2. Things to think about as you decide whether or not a source is reliable…<br />
  3. 3. How current is the material?<br />What experience does the author have?<br />Who published the material?<br />
  4. 4. Who?<br />
  5. 5. Authority is being an expert on a particular subject.<br />
  6. 6. What?<br />
  7. 7. Coverage is the extent of the subject matter. <br />
  8. 8. Why?<br />
  9. 9. Objectivity is a lack of bias or prejudice.<br />
  10. 10. When?<br />
  11. 11. Currency means contemporary, up-to-date<br />
  12. 12. How?<br />
  13. 13. Accuracy<br />correctness <br />in every detail, precision and exactness<br />
  14. 14. Should you ever cite Wikipedia in a paper for class?<br />
  15. 15. Should you ever cite Wikipedia in a paper for class?<br />
  16. 16. Wait, wait! Wikipedia can still help you in your research! <br />
  17. 17. Background information<br />
  18. 18. Keywords<br />
  19. 19. Links<br />
  20. 20. References<br />
  21. 21. Consider these scenarios<br />
  22. 22. 1.You are researching the rain forest.<br />
  23. 23. Which sentence demonstrates the author’s opinion about the topic rather than fact?<br />1. People around the world have become more aware of rain forest destruction. <br />2. Species are becoming endangered due to habitat destruction in the rain forest. <br />3. People should be willing to give money to help save the rain forests. <br />4. Deforestation hurts the environment<br />
  24. 24. “People should be willing to give money to help save the rain forests” is an opinion, not a fact.<br />
  25. 25. 2. You have located websites on the negative effects of drugs on teenagers.<br />
  26. 26. Which site would best meet your information need?<br />1. addictionscare.com -- A 24-hour addiction hotline in your community <br />2. teendrugabuse.org -- Describes how illegal drugs affect the teen brain <br />3. teenscenezeen.org -- Explains how to say “no” to drugs at a party <br />4. teendrugabusers.us-- Provides help for parents with troubled teens <br />
  27. 27. www.teendrugabuse.org<br />
  28. 28. 3. You need <br />to find information <br />for a school project and one source must be a <br />Web page.<br />
  29. 29. Which question will NOT help you evaluate the sites?<br />1. Who is the author of the information? <br />2. How many people use the site? <br />3. When was the site last updated? <br />4. Is the author an expert on the subject? <br />
  30. 30. “How many people use the site?” does not help you evaluate the authority or currency of a site.<br />
  31. 31. 4. You are looking for current information about Pluto <br />and why it is no longer a planet. <br />
  32. 32. Which source below offers the most current information? <br />1. www.nasa.gov— a website created by the National Air and Space Administration that is updated daily <br />2. Our Stars and Planets—a book written by A.J. Wright with a copyright date of 1996 <br />3. “Pluto”— an entry in World Book Encyclopedia dated 2000 <br />4. “Moon or Planet”— an article in the July 2008 issue of Scientific American magazine <br />
  33. 33. www.nasa.gov<br />
  34. 34. 5. You are writing a paper on toy safety.<br />
  35. 35. Which website is most likely to have the least biased information? <br />1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission <br />2. Mattel, Inc. <br />3. Toy Manufacturers Association <br />4. Toys “R” Us <br />
  36. 36.
  37. 37. 6. You are researching healthy eating.<br />
  38. 38. Which website would be the most appropriate resource to locate information?<br />1. dietsforyounow.com -- A site that helps you set up a diet plan for weight loss <br />2. choosemyplate.gov -- Department of Agriculture website that gives tips for healthy eating <br />3. thinkquest.org/401672 -- A site created by Ms. Jon’s 3rd grade class about the food pyramid <br />4. ourdietfads.com -- A site that covers recent fad diets <br />
  39. 39.
  40. 40. 7. You read on the Web that Mad Cow Disease may have been found in the United States.<br />
  41. 41. How might you best determine the truth of this statement? <br />1. Check the website www.fbifiles.com for information the government might not release to the public. <br />2. Search for "Mad Cow Disease" on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. <br />3. Look up the topic on the website from the American Council on Beef <br />4. Discuss the news with friends who might have heard about Mad Cow Disease. <br />

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