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JOUR 372: Diversity and the Media

Evaluating Internet Resources

The Internet can provide a valuable source of information. Check out the University Library's Reading Laterally for Fact Checking page and the Fact-Checking News Guide for in-depth strategies to critically think about the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of the information you find. For more information see the resources below to support you in effectively reviewing internet sources. 

How To Spot Fake News

How To Spot Fake News

How To Spot Fake News

  • Consider the Source - Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
  • Read Beyond - Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?
  • Check the Author - Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?
  • Supporting Sources? - Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story. 
  • Check the Date - Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events.
  • Is it a Joke? - If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure. 
  • Check your Biases - Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgment. 
  • Ask the Experts - Ask a librarian or consult a fact-checking site. 

How To Use Wikipedia Wisely

Evaluating Websites

In this video you will learn: How to determine if a website is a good source for your assignment.

Searching the Internet

Advanced Google Searching

Google offers many search techniques to help refine results, similar to what can be done in a library database. For example:

Enclose keywords in quotes to search an exact phrase: "san fernando valley"

Enclose in parentheses and separate with OR to retrieve any of those keywords in the results: (csun OR "california state university northridge")

Add a minus sign to remove webpages containing a keyword or phrase: -parking

Limit search to specific website: site:.calstate.edu

Limit search to specific domain: site:.gov

Limit results by date of last update: From the results screen, click Search Tools and select time period from the Anytime menu

Get definitions or explanations of terms: define keyword/phrase, i.e., define "fiscal cliff"

Watch the Advanced Google Searching video for more help.

See also: Web Search Help for more tips and tricks for searching Google

More Search Engines

Google Scholar - (searches scholarly journals and other academic sources.) 

Google Products - (Google offers many productivity tools as well as other specialized search engines.)

SearchEngineWatch - (There's more to searching the Internet than Google! This is a comprehensive directory of search engines by type.)

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