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CAL 103: Writing and Communication

This guide will help CAL 103 students get started with their research.

Think Critically

 

News Literacy: Can You Trust the Source?

Journalists use sources to inform their reporting. When you read a news article, see if you can identify the sources using the following criteria in the IMVAIN list:

Independent?

Is the source independent?

"Independent sources are preferable to self-interested sources."

Multiple?

How many sources are there?

"Multiple sources are preferable to a report based on a single source."

Verifiable?

Is the source providing verifiable information?

"Sources who Verify are preferable to those who merely assert."

Authoritative and/or Informed?

Is the source authoritative and/or informed?

"Authoritative and/or Informed sources are preferable to sources who are uninformed or lack authoritative background."

Named?

Is the source named or anonymous?

"Named sources are better than anonymous ones."


Adapted and quoted from:

Digital Resource Center. (2017). Source evaluation. Center for News Literacy. Retrieved from http://drc.centerfornewsliteracy.org/course-building/key-concepts/source-evaluation.

Another Way to Think About It: The C.R.A.P. Test


Currency

  • When was it published?
  • Is the information accurate for when it was written?
  • How current is it?
  • Does the author keep it updated?

Reliability

  • Does the author provide references to back up their arguments?
  • Does the source provide valuable, relevant information?
  • Has the author looked at the material objectively?

Authority

  • Who created this source?
  • Does the author represent an organization?
  • What are the author's credentials?


Purpose/point-of-view

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • Is the author trying to sell something?
  • What point-of-view is being expressed?
  • Is the purpose to inform, to entertain, to teach, or to influence?
  • Who is the author writing for? 
  • Is it biased in any way?
  • Are there advertisements?