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Use this guide to become a fact checker! Evaluate your sources and your facts!

Activate the 'Four Moves' by Michael Caulfield

"What people need most when confronted with a claim that may not be 100% true is things they can do to get closer to the truth. They need something I have decided to call “moves.”

Moves accomplish intermediate goals in the fact-checking process.  They are associated with specific tactics. Here are the four moves this guide will hinge on:

  • Check for previous work: Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research.
  • Go upstream to the source: Go “upstream” to the source of the claim. Most web content is not original. Get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
  • Read laterally: Read laterally.[1] Once you get to the source of a claim, read what other people say about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth is in the network.
  • Circle back: If you get lost, hit dead ends, or find yourself going down an increasingly confusing rabbit hole, back up and start over knowing what you know now. You’re likely to take a more informed path with different search terms and better decisions.

In general, you can try these moves in sequence. If you find success at any stage, your work might be done." -- Michael Caulfield

Information Literacy from LinkedIn Learning

As a University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff, or student, you have access to LinkedIn Learning. The video links below are part of a course on information literacy.

You must be logged in through Pitt Multifactor Authentication in order to view the video content.

Evaluating Information Sources

5 Tips to Improve Critical Thinking