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IS 1115 TWP: A Library Guide: Evaluating information sources. How Good Is the Evidence?

Information sources establish your credibility. Use the most credible sources that are appropriate for persuading your audience.

Show me PROOF

Prevailing Opinion

  • Is there another side to this story?
  • What is the reason for the existence of this information? 
    Is it to sell something? is it to persuade you to the author's point of view?
  • Is it propaganda?  Why is this information made available?
  • All information has a cost whether you see it or not. 
    Who is paying for this information to be made available?
    Journal subscription? Advertising? Database fees? 
    Does the manner in which the information is paid for influence its objectivity?
  • Is there a bias?
  • Why do you think this resource is or is not an objective viewpoint? 
  • Do you think this resource will add to the credibility of your argument?

Evidence Based Information

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) accused John Brennan on Monday of having been a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War, saying that the former CIA director lacks the credibility to discuss President Trump's meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

"John Brennan was a disaster as CIA director. He was a disaster as the counterterrorism official. He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War," DeSantis said on Fox News.

"So this is not exactly the guy I would listen to about Russia," he added.
Greenwood, M. (2018, July 16). GOP lawmaker accuses Brennan of being member of Communist Party. Retrieved August 13, 2018, from The Hill   website:

In-class exercise

Exercise:  Objective

Watch the video above.  Use whatever methods you wish to gather information to examine this statement.  Wikipedia would definitely be a good source.

"He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War. 

So this is not exactly the guy I would listen to about Russia."

Your part in this exercise is to determine if this is an objective viewpoint on this matter?  Refer to the box at the top of this page as a guide for the kind of information you'll need to find to address this question.  Not all of the questions will apply, but be as thorough as you can as you investigate.  Keep track of where you get information to defend your point of view. 

Do you think this statement from this source would add credibility to your argument?

You'll have about 8-10 minutes to look.  I will then select someone from your group to tell the rest of the class what you have found.