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A Fact Checker's Guide to the Internet: 3 Habits of Awesome Researchers: Move 1: Investigate the Source

This guide will support you and educate you in the tools of Internet research with an eye towards the truth. Invest your time into stories, info, and facts that are true and valid and prevent you from being fooled.

Words of Wisdom

"In order to find out the TRUTH about an organization you're researching, don't look at what the organization says about itself. Look at what the Internet is telling you about the organization. That is where you are going to find the TRUTH of the matter."

Mike Caulfield

Tips and Tricks

The most important keyboard shortcuts to know as a fact checker are copy and paste. Here are some helpful shortcuts:

FUNCTION PC MAC
Copy (*After selecting what you want to copy, first) control + c command + c
Paste control + v command + v
Find (*Finds words/phrases inside a website, PDF, document, etc.) control + f command + f

 

The Skill Explained

Check the References!

Every Wikipedia page has links and references back to the original source. Use the references as a tool to help verify the site/organization you are researching. This is a good practice for writing papers in general, not just for Wikipedia. One great article can help you find similar work by vetted authors.

Wikipedia-Your First Stop

Teachers have been telling you for years that Wikipedia is not a valid source but that is not always true. As a fact checker, Wikipedia is an ally and your first line of defense for authenticating and verifying alleged-facts. 

Wikipedia "Trick"

  1. In the site URL, delete everything after the initial domain name. The highlighted portion would be deleted (www.cnn.com/news/info_#2.html)
  2. Hit spacebar and type wikipedia
  3. Hit enter
  4. The Wikipedia entry for your search floats to the top of your search