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Writing 10 (Ayik): Credible Sources

College Reading & Composition

Resources for Evaluating News Sources

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries, 3:14


  1. What words can be used to describe a credible source?
  2. What factors contribute to a source's credibility? 
  3. What warning is given about bias? 
  4. What is the editorial process called for academic journal articles? 
  5. When selecting sources, what else must you consider beyond credibility?

Questions to Ask

If you are not sure about the accuracy of information you find online, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where was the information published?
  • Does the source of the information tend to have a particular bias?
  • Does the information appear in other credible sources? (For example, if you find information in one source but can't find any other sources that back it up, the information may be questionable. For breaking news stories, usually one source will report and then others will pick it up.)
  • Is the information presented in a way that elicits a strong emotional reaction? (This doesn't necessarily mean it's bad information, but take with a grain of salt.)
  • For photos, can you find where the photo first appeared? It is easy to fake photos, or to present them out of their original context.