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HES 210 Research Guide

This guide will assist students enrolled in HES210 to explore and research health topics

Evaluate Sources

There's a lot of misinformaton, disinformation, and fake news out there. How do you know if the information you encounter online and through social media outlets is true and accurate? Always stop and check your emotions when encountering a piece of information. How does it make you feel: excited, anxious, scared, sad, mad? When information provokes strong emotion, it can influence our belief when it comes to misinformation and fake news. Always STOP and take your time to evaluate every piece of information you encounter. On this page you will find two tools the MCC Libraries recommend for evaluating information sources: SIFT and CRAAP.

Want to learn more about how emotion impacts our belief? Here's a recent article:

Reliance on Emotion Promotes Belief in Fake News 

SIFT Method

Apply this 4 step tool to claims you encounter on the web, through social media, news outlets, or anything that seems skeptical.  


STOP - take a breath and ask yourself:
Do you recognize the information source?
Does it provoke strong emotion (anger, excitement, sadness, vindication)?
Is it far-fetched or unrealistic?

INVESTIGATE the source.
Identify where the information comes from:
Who is responsible for the content (author, organization, publisher)?
Does the content seem persuasive, biased, or have a motive (are they trying to sell you something or persuade your opinion)?

FIND trusted coverage.
Search for similar claims or content in credible sources - search Google (try limiting by domain: .org or .gov) and trusted library resources. Compare the information you encounter and see if claims or content match.

TRACE claims, quotes, and media back to the original context.
Pull details from the source to see if you can trace claims back to the originator.
Is an author or organization mentioned or an original research study?

Try factcheck, snopes, or politifact to see if the claim or content has been verified.

This information was adapted from SIFT (The Four Moves) which was created by Mike Caulfield.

Watch this quick video with Mike Caulfield on why digital literacy is essential now more than ever! 

The CRAAP Test

How do you know if something you find on the open web is reliable? Anyone can publish information to the Internet so not all information you find on the web is accurate or even true. In fact, a lot of information is biased, controversial or just plain wrong! Not knowing what information is reliable can be dangerous! Be sure to thoroughly evaluate all information you find on the open web for accuracy and reliability. Try the CRAAP* test:

C Currency When was it published? Has it been updated or revised?
R Relevancy

What would you use the information for? Does it support your research?

A Authority Who wrote it? Who is responsible for the information?
A Accuracy Where did the information come from? Are sources cited?
P Purpose Why was it written? Is it factual, entertaining or persuasive?

*Adapted from CSU, Chico CRAAP Test

Evaluating Websites

Created by CSU, Fullerton.