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ENG 111 (Tucker): Evaluate: SIFT

Created for Jessie Tucker's ENG 111 Spring 2021

What is SIFT?

S. I. F. T. is an evaluation strategy to help you judge whether or online content can be trusted for credible and reliable information. The SIFT strategy is quick, simple, and can be applied to various kinds of online content: social media posts, memes, statistics, videos, images, news articles, scholarly articles, etc.

Infographic text - SIFT - A strategy for evaluating information. Stop - Make a plan. What do you want to know from the source? Investigate the Source - Take a moment to figure out the source's agenda and expertise. Do they have a reputation? Consider using a fact-checker. Find better coverage - If you can’t determine the source's reliability, and you want an accurate story on the subject or claim, your best strategy is to start searching elsewhere. Trace to the original - Consider your source's sources. Has any relevant information been left out or altered through presentation?

What Do We SIFT?

  • Who is the author?
  • Why is the author writing this?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Does their content fit with other coverage of this topic?
  • When was the content written?

How Do We SIFT?

  • Search people, organizations, and publications on Wikipedia
  • Use fact-checking sources
  • Follow bibliographies back to original sources
  • Find other reliable sources to corroborate claims

What is a credible source?

Credible sources are those a reader can trust.

Scholarly sources are generally credible; but credible sources are not necessarily scholarly.

Example: The Wall Street Journal newspaper is credible, but not scholarly.

Fact Checking Websites