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Native American Studies Research Tutorial and Tournament

A guide to searching, obtaining, evaluating, and citing sources for your Native American Studies research assignment.

Critical Evaluation of Sources: SIFT

What are some methods to critically evaluate online sources? 

  • SIFT - The four (4) moves

Stop

Investigate the source

Find trusted coverage

Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context

SIFT: Stop

Stop

Do you know

  • the website or source of the information?
  • the reputation of the claim and the website?

If you don't know, Investigate, Find trusted coverage, and Trace referenced materials back to their original source 

SIFT: Investigate

Investigate the source

  • Use lateral reading. You may find out a lot about a website by leaving the site itself.
    • Open multiple windows and do searches for the website's
      • reviews
      • publisher or organization
      • page author
      • topics or terms you are not familiar with
  • Seek and compare reports from multiple sources
  • Fact check statements when statements are made without citing a source and seek verification from multiple sources
  • Do you know the expertise and agenda of the source?

SIFT: FInd trusted coverage

Find trusted coverage

look for

  • trusted reporting or analysis on claims
  • scan multiple sources to see what the expert consensus, context, and history seems to be
  • check outrageous claims 

SIFT: Trace claims and quotes back to the original context

Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context

  • are statements supported with evidence?
  • does the source supply enough information to locate the reference?
  • locate the source of the evidence to verify 
  • if you get stuck, Ask-A-Librarian for assistance