WPA poster

Evaluate What You Find

Not all evidence is equally reliable. Always keep an eye out for bias and deliberate deception and consider these questions:

Accuracy Does the information presented seem accurate? Are the facts verifiable?
Authority Who is the author and/or publishing body? What is their expertise on this topic?
Point of View/Bias What position or opinion is presented and does it seem biased? Propaganda encourages you to think in a particular way. Disinformation is intentional false information.
Validity Does it make sense? Does the information seem reasonable?
Context Can you recognize the cultural or other contextual environment (company, political party, or university researchers for example) in which the information was generated? Context impacts information and how you use and interpret it.
Currency Timeliness or the date information was created makes a difference. Check publication dates to find this. Consider your information need. Do you need up-to-date statistics or a current analysis? Do you need an historical text?
Use How do you intend to use this information? Your professor may require you to use current research studies in writing your research paper. For a different class project you may need art images or a video clip or population statistics from the 1850s. You want to match the information and sources you find and use with your information need.
Poster WPA (Works Project Administration) Poster Collection, Library of Congress
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