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CAL 103: Writing and Communication

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

Think Critically


Evaluating What You Read: How to Spot Fake News

File:How to Spot Fake News.jpg

How to Spot Fake News infographic by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 2017

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:


Is the source independent?

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


How many sources are there?

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


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."


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

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


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


  • 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?


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


  • 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?