Reliability of Sources - Home - Lincoln County Public Schools
Credibility of Sources How can you tell if a source is going to be credible or reliable ? Primary sources A primary source is an original object or document -- the
raw material or first-hand information. Eye witness accounts are also a primary source, but are less reliable than a document. A primary source is an original object or
document -- the raw material or first-hand information. historical and legal documents results of an experiment statistical data pieces of creative writing art objects
eye witness accounts Secondary sources A secondary source is something written about a primary source. You can think of secondary sources as second-hand information. If I tell you
something, I am the primary source. If you tell someone else what I told you, you are the secondhand source. Secondary sources Secondary sources include: comments on interpretations of
discussions about the original material Secondary sources Secondary source materials can be: articles in newspapers popular magazines book or movie reviews
articles found in scholarly journals that evaluate or criticize someone else's original research What is the source of the information being considered? Publication -Date - is the information current, or does it need to be current? -Reputation of publication - is the source
well known and trustworthy? -Kind of publication - is it a scientific report, eye-witness account, a work of fiction? CARS is an acronym for . . . Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness,
and Support CARS Checklist for Information Quality CARS
Credibility Check the URL (.gov or .edu) Check the sponsor (a univ or goverment or medical agency) Can you identify the author? Purpose (are they selling or informing or just talking?) CARS
Accuracy Correctness Up to date (for what it is) Spelling Grammar mistakes
CARS Reasonableness Tone (is it angry or whiny or professional?) Bias (does it lean more toward one side?) Logic (does it make sense?) CARS
Support Sponsored Cited (research evidence provided) Contact information Author or Speaker -Qualifications - is he an expert in his field? -Bias - is he one-sided in his point-ofview?
-Values - what does the author value in regards to the topic? -Chance for personal gain - does the author stand to benefit from his position? Means of getting the Information -Witness or researcher - was the author or speaker a first-hand witness
to the information or did he gather it from some other source? -Equipment - what kind of equipment was used to record information? How Credible? How Credible? How Reliable?
How Credible? How Reliable? Lets rank some sources! If you were looking for information on Hurricane Katrina which source would be the most reliable? A. victim blog
B. novel C. newspaper report D. eyewitness account Which one is the least reliable? If you were doing a report on Barack Obama, rank these sources from most reliability to least reliability. 1. A recent Time magazine article
2. An encyclopedia article dated 1/30/05 3. An article in the National Enquirer 4. A blog by Obamas campaign manager 1,2,4,3 Rank the following resources from greatest reliability to least
realiability for an essay titled War in Iraq. 1. Newspaper article War in Iraq by a war correspondent 2. Tabloid article What They Dont Let Us Know 3. Internet site on Iraq and the postwar period 4. Journal of a soldier serving in Iraq
1, 4, 3, 2 Rank these sources from most reliable to least reliable. 1.
2. 3. 4. Article in The Tennessean Eyewitness account Internet article National Enquirer Magazine 2, 1, 3, 4
Perhaps the best way to think of the reliability of information is to think of it as existing on a scale, rather than falling into the categories of reliable or unreliable. Information can range from very unreliable to highly reliable and also anywhere in between. How can you judge the
reliability of the information that you find? One way is to compare the information about the same topic across multiple sources. Lets look at three different sources on the Internet about the same subject: Elvis Presley
Lets compare some sources and check for reliability. As we visit these websites, ask yourself: Which one would you judge as having the highest reliability? Which one would you place lowest on the reliability scale? Which one might fall somewhere in between? You will need your Judging Reliability
by Comparing Sources worksheet. Here are the websites we will evaluate for reliability: Discover Elvis http://www.elvis.com/elvisology/faq/faq.asp?qid=23
Elvis Sightings http://www.theholidayspot.com/elvis/apparition.htm Info Please http://www.infoplease.com/biography/var/elvispresley.html
How reliable is the Internet? Lets check out this website on the tree octopus. http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ Thats right, its a complete hoax!! The entire website (as well as MANY others) joke. Remember Dont believe everything you
read..ESPECIALLY on the Internet. Question: Is the internet a reliable source? Answer: Not always.BE CAREFUL! is a Rank these sources from most reliable to least reliable. 1. Internet website 2. Written diary of an eye-witness to
an event 3. Newspaper article from USA Today 4. An article in a supermarket tabloid 2, 3, 1, 4
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