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Post-Election FAQs

Getting the best information after the election.

Evaluating Claims

  • Currency - What is the date on the source you're consulting? Is it current, or has it been updated recently to reflect new information? For example, an article from 2016 may be referencing data from 2015.
  • Purpose - Is the source informative or persuasive; advocacy or sales? Why is the author writing the piece?
    • Pro Tip: News sources may include a variety of content. Check for words like "opinion" or "editorial" to help you figure out what's what.
  • Plausibility - Sure, sometimes the Cubs win the World Series ... but more often, they don't.* Is the author making an extremely unlikely claim, given the context? Be on the lookout for common logical fallacies.
    • *(Don't believe that claim? Check the data for yourself at Baseball Reference! Can you figure out who runs that site?)
  • Qualifications - How does the author know what they are talking about? What education, experience, or knowledge do they have? Did the information go through peer review, editing, revisions, or criticism before being shared?
    • Pro Tip: "Author" can mean a single person, a group of people, an organization, etc.
  • Verifiability - Can you verify the information you're seeing? Are there references, or is additional information shared to provide depth or context? Don't be afraid to do your own fact-checking, or ask your friendly local librarian to give you a hand.

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