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COMM111 Hughes

Develop your topic, brainstorm search terms, and find credible resources - all while Staying Home and Staying Healthy!

Crowd-sourced definition of "credible sources"

On your Informative Speech assignment, Kerrie expects you to use “3 pieces of documented supporting materials” that “have credibility and come from a valid source.” Let’s build a shared understanding of what that means.

A credible source is written by a knowledgeable, identifiable author(s); cites its sources of information; is up-to-date; is transparent in its purpose; is available in full text.

Characteristics of a credible source include:

  • Author or publisher is associated with an academic entity, research institution, other respected & known entities.
    • .gov, .edu which are regulated websites.
    • org is also good, and .com, but always check the About Us, Purpose pages.
  • Groups / organizations can be authors (e.g., Oregon Health Authority).
  • Avoid anonymous authors. Transparent authorship is important.
  • Author / sponsor of the information is transparent about their purpose in sharing information.
  • Available in full text (no abstracts-only articles).
  • Peer-reviewed - other experts and credentialed / experienced figures have reviewed and validated the work.
  • Cite sources: Include sources they used, and you can get an idea of how they arrived at their conclusion (and you can fact check).
    • Give credit to people
    • Sharing examples.
    • Multiple websites have the same information.
  • Informational, not opinionated or full of bias. Look for cited sources.
  • Objective, considering all sides of a situation.
  • Up-to-date information, if that matters for your topic.
  • Relevant to your topic (e.g., an article on cigarettes wouldn't be relevant to effects of vaping).
  • Available in full text (no abstracts-only articles).

How to fact-check like a pro

Learn how to combat the problem of fake news, misinformation and disinformation! Fact-check, evaluate, and stop the spread of bad information using any and all of the tools below.

Evaluate information using The CRAP Test

CRAP Test graphic.

The CRAP Test is a helpful tool to use when deciding if a source is high-quality and credible. CRAP stands for currency, reliability, authority and purpose. These are four areas to consider when evaluating a source.

Evaluate information using The SIFT Method

Logo for the SIFT Method.

The SIFT method by Mike Caulfield provides four quick moves you can do when evaluating an online source. Learn more about using the SIFT method to sort fact from fiction related to COVID-19 at Sifting Through the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Use Fact-Checking websites

CCC Librarians' favorites are listed below.

Clackamas Community College Library - 19600 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Reference: 503-594-6042     |     |     Circulation: 503-594-6323
Library Hours     |     Moodle     |     myClackamas     |     FAQ
Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, content in these research guides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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