In this era of lies and disinformation, you are probably wondering how to tell if a source or website is credible. Evaluating websites for credibility is important when you’re trying to present facts and data for a political argument, a college research paper, or a report for a job.
Even in our everyday lives, we are bombarded by information that we don’t know is valid or not. We have to look at everything with a bit of skepticism.
You can’t believe everything you read especially in the digital age. Sift out the bad information with these six tips for evaluating sources for credibility.
1. Who is The Author?
When you find a source or are reading an article, check to see who wrote it. Who is the author or organization that wrote this piece? Is the person or entity trustworthy? Do they themselves have credibility?
If there’s a link to the author’s bio, click it and check it out. If not, do a search to learn more about the author.
2. Is There Bias?
Is this an opinion piece or a factual article? Is the author showing bias? Is he or she sharing personal beliefs, opinions, or special interests? Are they trying to persuade you to feel a certain way about the subject?
Is the author trying to elicit emotions or share their feelings? Are they trying to sway the objectivity of the message?
3. Who Sponsors the Website?
Who pays for or sponsors the site? Check to see if it’s endorsed by anyone. You want information that is not compromised by certain beliefs or opinions. Some organizations will only present information that backs their cause. Be aware of that.
4. How is The Content?
Is the information written coherently? Does it make sense? Is it factual and sourced? Is it a peer-reviewed article?
Verify quotes, references, and hyperlinks. Evaluate the content for validity.
5. Is The Information Consistent?
Review other websites or articles. Is there a consensus on this topic or information? If a few sources are saying one thing and another source is saying the opposite, don’t use that source.
6. Is the Information Current?
Check the date on any article you use. Things may have changed if the article was written ten years ago depending on the topic.
Are all the contradictions and inaccurate information out there getting you down? Check out WellWell for resources, insights, and inspiration to help you live well and feel well!
Evaluating Sources for Credibility
If you’re trying to write a solid paper, evaluating sources for credibility is so important. Use these six tips to look for signs of misinformation so you can feel confident in the credibility of your sources.
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