Codes/Rules to determine validity/credibility for 6th Grade:
- Title: Does the title allude to something HUGE and SHOCKING but not tell you what it is? This is called “clickbait.” The author gets paid only by how many people open the page, not the quality of the writing. In fact, you’ll never believe it!! I found a STARTLING video that tells the truth about clickbait here.
- Author’s Intention: Figure out what the author wanted to do when they wrote this. Did they want you to be informed/smarter? Did they want to sell you something? Are they trying to scare you? If there intention is not honorable, do not trust it.
- Article’s Origin: Where did the article get published? Look to see the domain type (.com, .net, .gov, .edu) Typically, .gov and .edu are more reliable and less biased.
- Sourcing: Does the author base their argument off of many respected sources, like experts, or is it only a few (maybe only one) “expert” who lacks any formal training. This presents a biased view and you want to steer clear of it.
- Cherry Picking: Is the article telling you only one side of the story? This is called “cherry-picking” and it means that the author only chooses facts that support their argument. (I could say that the Earth is flat because one time I put a bowling ball down and it didn’t move. That’s true, but it is not the only thing to consider.)
If you read an article and you don’t have any concerns, you probably have a pretty good article, but you can always check with another student, or a teacher!!