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RUSN 2150: Russian Culture: Evaluating Print Sources

Is Your Source Credible?

The S.I.F.T. Method


  • Do you know the website or the source of the information?
  • What is the reputation of the claim, the author, or the website?
  • Don't know any of these? Use the next steps to get more information.


  • What does the web say about the source? (Wikipedia is a great start.)
  • Don't trust what the source says about itself.

FIND trusted coverage

  • Look for trusted coverage about the CLAIM the source is making, not the source itself.
  • Understand the history and context of the claim
  • Seek out those with relevant expertise and a trusted reputation

TRACE back to the original material

  • Find the quote, media, or claim in its original context.
  • Was the version you saw or read represented accurately?
  • Find a high quality or highly respected secondary source if you can't find the original.

Fact Checking Sources

Rhetorical & Logical Fallacies

Many times, the content of the article is more important than the publisher or author. It's important to understand the rhetorical strategies employed to make readers feel a certain way or to sway them to an author's opinion. The infographic below does a good job at briefly explaining a complex topic.