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Evaluating Sources of Information

What is Lateral Reading?

What is Lateral Reading?

Lateral reading is when you look outside of your source to seek additional information about a source's credibility, reputation, funding sources, and biases to help you make an evaluation about your source. 

Research the Author, Publisher, & Claim

When we laterally read, we are investigating information about the author and publisher of a source to help us make an evaluation. It is also essential to investigate the content and claims of your source. Is the information itself accurate? Is there any evidence backing up the claim and is that evidence reliable? What are other sources saying about the topic? 

On the next few pages, you will find different strategies you can use to check for credibility, reputation, funding sources, and biases to help inform your evaluation of source's author, publisher, and content. 

Not every evaluation strategy will work

You will find not every evaluation strategy will work for every source you encounter. For example, you might not find a Wikipedia page or a fact checker website that has information about your source. 

You also have to determine when you feel you found enough information using the strategies to make an evaluation of your source. It's up to you to use your best judgement! This will become easier as you continue to use the evaluation method of lateral reading.