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A Fact Checker's Guide to the Internet: 3 Habits of Awesome Researchers: Move 2: Find the Original 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.

Description

The Original Reporting Source (ORS) will give you the most trustworthy information. Always search for the source that originally created the information.

The Wikipedia Trick

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

 

The Skill Explained

"Upstream" Searching

The person/people that produced the original writing are the ones that verified the facts in the first place. They are the Original Reporting Source (ORS). If we find that the ORS is valid, we can invest our time into the article. When we seek out the ORS, we are searching "upstream."