Skip to main content
PCC Library Logo

Biology

Evaluate

EvaluateYou can evaluate any source using the 5 W's:

  • Who: ...wrote it? Are they an expert?
  • What: ...is the purpose of this resource?
  • Where: ...was this information published? ...does the information come from?
  • When: ...was this published or last updated?
  • Why: ...is this resource useful? ...is this resource better than other ones?

Check Facts

When you see a claim that may not be 100% true, there are four steps, called "moves," you can take to fact-check the claim. If you successfully confirm a fact at any stage, you can stop - it's not always necessary to complete all four moves.

Four Fact-Checking Moves

  1. Check for Previous Work: 
    Look to see if someone has already fact-checked the claim or summarized the research.
  2. Go "Upstream" to the Source: 
    Find the original source of the claim to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
  3. Read Laterally: 
    Read what other people say about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth is in the network.
  4. Circle Back: 
    If you get lost or find yourself going down a rabbit hole, back up and start over. Now that you know more, you will probably find a different path with new search terms and more informed decisions.

 

One Habit: Check Your EmotionsEmotions Icon

In addition to the fact-checking moves, you should get into the habit of checking your emotions. When you feel strong emotion – happiness, anger, pride, vindication – in response to a claim, STOP. Above all, these are the claims that you must fact-check.

 

Why check your emotions?

As human beings, our emotions tend to override our ability to reason. It's important to learn to recognize when this is happening, so you can approach important issues with a more analytical frame of mind. 

 

Learn more!