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English I-II: Evaluation Skills

General information for English I and II classes (including Honors), as well as specific research pages for projects or topics



Three Habits of Fact Checkers

3 Habits of Fact-Checkers

That will make you better researchers.

In "Lateral Reading and the Nature of Expertise: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information,"(2018) Stanford History Education Group  researchers Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGraw, describe findings of an experiment comparing the online research techniques of Hisory Ph.Ds, undergraduate students, and professional fact-checkers. They found that both students and professors often fell victim to misinformation online, while fact-checkers used three techniques for better, and more efficient, online research.

1. They "Take Bearings":  

"before diving deeply into unfamiliar content, chart a plan for moving forward (Wineburg and McGrew)."

 In the Research Process presented HERE, this step is called PreSearch.

2. They "Read Laterally":

don't judge a site on its own merits. leave the site after a quick scan and use outside information to help judge the credibility of the site.

In the Research Process, this is the Evaluate step between Acquire and Keep Found.

3. They practice "Click Restraint":

"before clicking on any one result ... [evaluate] the list of search results to understand the digital terrain...(Wineburg and McGrew)"

In the Research Process, this is the Evaluate step between  Search and Find


Wineburg, Sam and Sarah McGrew. "Lateral Reading and the Nature of Expertise: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information." Stanford Digital Repository, Stanford U Libraries, 28 July 2018, Accessed 1 Nov. 2018.

See Also

Wineburg, Sam, and Sarah McGrew. "Why Students Can't Google Their Way to the Truth." AMASS, vol. 21, no. 3, 2017, p. 38+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 1 Nov. 2018.


"How Do We Know What's True Anymore" - Sarah McGrew presents to the Palo Alto PTA Council

Online Verification Skills

Mike Caulfield, media literacy educator and  Director of Blended and Networked Learning at Washington State University Vancouver, partners with the Canadian media literacy organization News Wise to deliver 4 short videos that teach simple evaluation skills.

Introductory Video

Investigate the Source

Find the Original Source

Look for Trusted Work