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Assess (and re-assess) as you Go Explore
Explore Different Viewpoints, Types of Resources and Data About Your Topic
- Develop and maintain an open mind when encountering varied and sometimes conflicting perspectives.
- Practice thinking critically when confronting new learning--look for authoritative sources.
- "Fake news" or propaganda has always existed. Consider the source.
- Don't fall into a bias rut - it's good if not all you read agrees with you.
Who, Me, Biased? A series by The New York Times
When do I start over again?
If you can't find enough CREDIBLE, RELIABLE sources for your paper, you should change your search strategy and start over.
Where do I look to determine authority?
It depends on the source. Sometimes on websites, the person or persons responsible are listed at the very bottom of the page; sometimes at the top under the title.
In books, the full list of author(s) and/or editors is on the title page.
In articles, it is usually listed at the beginning; or if found on a database, the author is listed in the citation of the article.
Always look for the responsible party. Then look at their credentials. If they don't have credentials listed, Google them.
What is Confirmation Bias?
How to Beat Confirmation Bias
How do I know this is a good source?
Look at the source critically.
- Is it fairly new information, or twenty years old? If it is twenty years old, does it matter?
- Is it relevant to the paper topic, or is it just interesting?
- Is there someone taking responsibility for the information that is an expert on that topic?
- What is the purpose of the source? To sell something? To persuade you to look at it from their point-of-view? Or to inform?