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Lansing Community College Library

Evaluating Sources: Home

Methods for evaluating information

Introduction to Evaluating Information

Today's informational landscape is complex and can be misleading. Many different methods have been developed over the last few decades to help us determine if a source of information is credible and reliable. This guide details common strategies and methods to help you evaluate information in all formats.

Types of Mis- and Disinformation

Graphic on the 7 types of misinformation and disinformation. 1. Satire and Comedy - no intention to do harm but has potential to fool. 2. Misleading Content - misleading use of information to frame an issue or person. 3. False Connection - when visuals, captions, and headlines don't support the content, click bait. 4. False Context - when genuine information is shared out of context. 5. Imposter Content - when genuine sources are impersonated. 6. Manipulated Content - when genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive. 7. Fabricated Content - new content that is 100% false and made to deceive and do harm

This graphic is based on the work done by First Draft

Evaluation Tips

Consider these tips when evaluating information and media.

  • Anyone can buy a .com or .org domain. Some will be trustworthy and others may not be.

  • A nice logo on a professional looking website does not always mean the information is credible.

  • Many pages have advertisements and sponsored content that can be misleading, but it's not a good indicator of credibility. 

  • Graphs, tables, and data, even footnotes, can be easily manipulated and faked. Explore questionable data and try to find the actual source the data is coming from.

  • Google a publication, author, or organization to help you identify whose behind the information and a potential bias.