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Critical Thinking About Sources

How trustworthy is your source?

How trustworthy is your source? chart

How Trustworthy is your source?

The list below is ordered from More Trustworthy (top) to Least Trustworthy (bottom).

  • Peer-reviewed academic journal articles

  • Books written by experts and published by academic presses

  • Government websites and publications

  • General interest books, magazines and some websites

  • Daily news (newspapers, tv or internet)

  • Materials from advocacy groups (Political groups, religious organizations, etc.)

  • Personal websites

  • Blogs

  • Advertisements

How good are you at spotting Fake News?

Can you spot fake news stories?

Below are a few games to test your fake news spotting (or spreading) abilities.

Still not sure? Look it up by name via Media Bias/Fact Check

Simply enter the website or media outlet and this site returns information on typical content, as well as a  Left to Right bias rating scale. Additionally, you can also view Questionable Sources, including fake news, hate sites, or those rated as Least Biased. 

As an example, the website Buzzfeed is marked as having a Left-Center bias and your can view their complete bias and credibility rating.

double pointed arrow representing political bias spectrum

Did that really happen?

 Validating Information on Websites or in Emails 

snopes logoThe best myth-buster out there is a website called Type your 'urban myth' into Snopes and it will likely tell you whether the legend / rumor is true, false or somewhere in between.

Example: A "chain" letter email

There is a lot more to this email as you will see. It was very heavily distributed during Sept. 2009. The text is as follows:

About 5:30 PM there was a loud bang from the oven. Sylvia opened the oven door and the Pyrex dish had shattered into a million pieces. The roast beef (our first in many months) was peppered with small shards of very sharp glass. Normally, I am quick to inform Sylvia she did something stupid. However, this time she was nowhere near the stove when it blew. I shoveled the glass and the now mashed potatoes into a bucket with two putty knives. I then sucked the remains with the shop vac. I let everything cool down and then scrubbed the oven with Simple Green and some hot soapy water. It took over an hour to clean up the goo. Upon completion I ran the oven empty to see if the temperature controller was working okay. I suspected the oven got too hot and the dish simply blew. This was not the case however. The oven came up to temperature and cycled normally. We threw a disgusting frozen pizza in the oven and it cooked okay.

What did Snopes say?


Pyrex brand glass bakeware is now manufactured from a different material and is more susceptible to breakage.

Rating: Mixture

snopes mixture rating icon This rating indicates that a claim has significant elements of both truth and falsity to it such that it could not fairly be described by any other rating.


What's true: 

Pyrex, like all brands of glass bakeware, is subject to breakage due to thermal shock; Pyrex glass bakeware was originally made from borosilicate glass and is now made from tempered soda lime glass.

What's false: 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission hasn't determined that Pyrex glass bakeware products are unsafe; World Kitchen, the current owner of the Pyrex brand, is not based outside the U.S.; All Pyrex glass bakeware products are not manufactured in China.

What's undetermined:

Whether Pyrex switched from using borosilicate glass to tempered soda lime glass only after Corning sold the brand to World Kitchen in 1998.