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St. Peter's Prep Libguide: Information Literacy

What is information literacy?

Important Terms and Definitions

Term           Definition
Misinformation incorrect or misleading information-Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Disinformation false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Fake News "Fake news" is "fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. [David M. J. Lazer, et al., "The Science of Fake News," Science 09 Mar 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1094-1096.]. - Cornell University
Bias a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly.-Merriam Webster Dictionary

Confirmation Bias

the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs. This biased approach to decision making is largely unintentional and often results in ignoring inconsistent 
Web search engine algorithms How Search Algorithms Work

Lateral Reading

Lateral Reading And Why It's Important


Be like a professional fact checker and employ lateral reading! 

Lateral reading helps you verify what you're reading as you read it. 

Lateral reading helps you determine an author’s credibility, intent and biases by searching for articles on the same topic by other writers (to see how they are covering it)and for other articles by the author you’re checking on.

Check out more: News Literacy Project Lateral Reading



Information Literacy and Fact Checking Resources

Classroom Video on Demand has a great series of videos on Information Literacy, Digital Literacy, fact checking and more. Check it out here!

Checkology, a free e-learning platform, will help you become more news-literate. 

Learn how to effectively search, evaluate, and verify social and political information online with lessons from the Stanford History Education Group. 

Guide to learning how to critically evaluate media sources and understanding fake news, propaganda, and disinformation.

Is that a fact?, News Literacy Project's new podcast, informs listeners about news literacy issues that affect their lives through informative conversations with experts working to combat misinformation. monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. 

 All Sides displays the day’s top news stories from the Left, Center and Right of the political spectrum — side-by-side so you can see the full picture.

SourceWatch is published by the Center for Media and Democracy. According to their website, "SourceWatch is an encyclopedia of public affairs that documents the people, issues and groups shaping the public agenda both locally and globally..." 

Fake Images

Fact checking methods


Evaluate Information in a digital world: 


Do you know the website or source of information?   Start with a plan. Check your bearings and consider what you want to know and your purpose. Usually, a quick check is enough. Sometimes you'll want a deep investigation, to verify all claims made and check your sources. 


Know the expertise and agenda of your source so you can interpret it. Consider what other sites say about your source. A fact checking site may help. Read carefully while you click. 


Find trusted reporting or analysis, look for the best information on a topic, or scan multiple sources to see what the consensus is. Find something more in depth and read about more viewpoints. 


Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the source. What was clipped out of a story/photo/video and what happened before or after? When you read the research paper mentioned in a news story, was it accurately reported? Find the original source to see the context, so you can see if the version you have is accurately presented. 

Source: University of Oregon Research Guides

ACT UP Evaluating Sources


A-AuthorWho wrote the resource? Who are they? Background information matters. Google them and see if they are qualified to write about the topic. Has the website or any of its authors been reported as a source of fake news. 

C-CurrencyWhen was this resource written? When was it published? Does this resource fit into the currency of your topic?

T-TruthHow accurate is this information? Can you verify any of the claims in other sources? Are there typos and spelling mistakes? Follow the rule of three-you should be able to look up claims in at least three other sources. 

U-Unbiased: There is no such thing as unbiased. We all have biases. Find out who funded the research. Follow the money. Often times founders have a vested interest in the research outcomes. 

P: Privilege:  Check the privilege of the author(s). Are they the only folks who might write or publish on this topic? Who is missing in this conversation? Critically evaluate the subject terms associated with each resource you found. How are they described? What are the inherent biases?

Information Literacy Videos

ChatGPT and AI language models

Q: What is ChatGPT?

A: ChatGPT is an artificial intelligent chatbot created by the artificial intelligent research company, OpenAI. 


Q: What can ChatGPT do?  

A. ChatGPT can answer questions and create responses based on previous input using human style conversation. It creates responses by pulling in data from a variety of sources across the internet. But, it cannot generate information from anything past 2021. 


Q: Can I trust the responses that ChatGPT gives me? 

A. The information ChatGPT may SEEM reliable but that's only because it produces its responses based on what people have said before. HOWEVER, the information ChatGPT provides has not been vetted. ChatGPT is not able to discern fact from fiction or truth from lies. In fact, if you ask ChatGPT for quotes and/or citations it can MAKE THEM UP. 


Q. What should I do if I need to use ChatGPT to help me with an assignment? 

A. If you are using ChatGPT to gather information, you will need to verify the information it is providing for you. This means engaging in SIFT/ lateral reading and checking verified sources such as, academic journal articles or a variety of established and trusted news sources. 

Fact Checking Tools

Fact-checking journalism is the heart of PolitiFact. Our core principles are independence, transparency, fairness, thorough reporting and clear writing. The reason we publish is to give citizens the information they need to govern themselves in a democracy. - PolitiFact


We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. ...  Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. - Politifact


We expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other. Our balanced news coverage, media bias ratings, civil dialogue opportunities, and technology platform are available for everyone and can be integrated by schools, nonprofits, media companies, and more. - AllSides

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a nationally-recognized watchdog that leads in-depth, award-winning investigations into the corruption that undermines our democracy, environment, and economic prosperity. - CMD

Part of The Washington Post, the purpose of this website, and an accompanying column in the Sunday print edition of The Washington Post, is to “truth squad” the statements of political figures regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local. It’s a big world out there, and so we rely on readers to ask questions and point out statements that need to be checked.

Is someone referencing a website that you can't find? Maybe it's been deleted? The Wayback Machine contains 391 billion webpages from the past 20 years. It's a wonderful tool for finding websites that have been taken down.