Trusting Your Sources

Information Literacy Module IV: Evaluating Information

Who or what would you trust more?

  • Matchmaker
    • A mother who says you simply must meet her son because he’s such a good catch
    • A dating service that will make its money only if you are satisfied with the match
  • Milk
    • A carton of milk that is still two weeks away from its expiration date
    • A carton of milk that’s been festering in the back of your fridge for a year and a half
  • Salesman
    • Someone selling stolen goods out of the back of his car
    • Someone selling goods with warrantees in a brick and mortar store
  • Testimony
    • An investigator who’s collected files of evidence against a defendant
    • A plaintiff who has a hunch that the defendant is a bad guy
  • Tour Guide
    • A tour guide who has lived, worked, and studied in your destination city for years
    • A tour guide who’s never actually been to your destination

In the same way that you wouldn’t trust a biased mother, an old jug of milk, a TV with a sketchy history, lazy testimony, or an unqualified tour guide, you wouldn’t trust a research source that is biased, outdated, lacking credentials, shallow, or lacking authority.


Guiding Your Research
What types of sources would you consider good sources research for your current project? Which sources do you think you’ll want to stay away from?


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