Adams State University
Nielsen Library

ENG 101 - LeBlanc

What if I can't tell?

Sometimes it's difficult to tell if the information you're looking at is true. In that case, see if you can confirm the information elsewhere. Two reliable sites that look into questionable news and other items online are:

Politifact: "PolitiFact staffers research statements and rate their accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter, from True to False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get the lowest rating, Pants on Fire." More information on Politifact here.

Snopes: This site started out investigating urban legends online, but its scope has grown to include lots of kinds of information online including the news.

A Jumping Off Point for News Sources

The below chart, created by Denver patent attorney Vanessa Otero (for more information from Vanessa on the chart, check out her blog), is a good jumping off point when considering the level of information various sources provide as well as where those sources lean politically.

The information in this chart doesn't mean that if you find an article from The Economist (near the top of the chart and near the center), you should use it without evaluating it any further. If you're going to use any piece of information you find online as evidence in your own work, you have a responsibility to examine it closely, no matter where it comes from.