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Research Process: Fake News

This tutorial aims to help develop effective library research skills and critical thinking skills in all courses at Prince George's Community College.

Fake News

Evaluating a News Article

Use the following criteria to evaluate an article found on the web. 

Does the headline match the content?

Read the entire article before deciding to trust it or not as headlines are sometimes fabricated to grab your attention.

Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

Errors of this nature show that the author might have hastily posted the information or they may not be an authoritative expert in the content they're wiring about.

Who is the author?

No author listed is a red flag! It means you can't investigate them to see if they are credible or not. When there is an author, do a Google search to locate other articles they've written, credentials, and if they can be contacted.

Are there references, links or citations?

These validate the authors' information and allow us to easily access and explore more about the information in the article.

What is this website?

Find the mission and goals of the website by looking for its "About Us" section. This information will help you to determine the websites' purpose and credibility.

Are there any direct quotes that are incorrectly used or taken out of context?

Are you able to find the same quote on another website? Or did a Google search of the quote produce something different? Writers can modify quotes to change their meaning and to make you believe something that isn't 100% true.

Does the article only showcase one side of an argument?

If an article only features one viewpoint, the reader should remind themselves that they're not seeing the full picture. Be cautious of news articles that only report one side of the story.

Is the story completely outrageous?

If the story is unbelievable, chances are it is! Trust your gut instinct and check for many of the items discussed in this article.


Content taken from Identifying Fake News: An Infographic and Educator Resources created by EasyBib, a Chegg service. Copyright 2016.


fake news infographic