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EGL 102 - Robert Serb - Spring 2024

Evaluating Sources

SIFT is a method for evaluating sources that was developed by Mike Caulfield. You can access more information about his method here: Sift: the Four Moves. All the information and methods referred to on this page were created by him and are adapted here using a CC BY 4.0 license. Determining the credibility of resources can be a difficult task. The SIFT method is helpful for sorting through what is credible and what is not, especially in regards to online media, which can be published and shared with very little oversight. Caulfield describes the SIFT method as "a short list of things to do when looking at a source," which are then attached to effect web search techniques. Use the resources on this page to help complete the Evaluating Resources Assessment.


Mike Caulfield SIFT Tutorial Videos: S - STOP

This video explains why we need to be cautious about online resources and introduces the topic. Watch the first tutorial and then consider the first step. Before you share an article or a video online or use a source for your essay or project, STOP! Do I know this source? Do I know its reputation? Do I know whether this source is reliable of credible?



Mike Caulfield SIFT Tutorial Videos: I - Investigate the Source

When you investigate the source, you need to go to outside sources to learn information about their reputation. Wikipedia is a great starting point to check the reputation of a source. 

Mike Caulfield SIFT Tutorial Videos: F - Find the Original Source

The next step is to check the veracity of an article by finding the best sources for the topic. These are often the original or primary sources, but can also be more reputable news sources with a strong track record. You can use fact checking organizations to check on the reputation of sites for accuracy  Use some of the sites provided on this page. As you research, keep a list of trusted sites whom you have verified. For images, you can do a reverse image search.  

Mike Caulfield SIFT Tutorial Videos: T - Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media Back to the Original Context

To trace the claims of an article, make sure you click through links provided to be sure the original source says what the article claims. Look at the context. Was the information or media contained within the source accurately represented?