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HUMS 120 - Social Welfare Programs & Policies - Eash

Rhetorical Triangle

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Rhetorical Triangle

You can use the rhetorical triangle to evaluate information. 

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Author

Look at the competence and expertise of the author in the area they are writing. 

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Audience

Consider who the information is written for and whether you fit into that group.

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Purpose

Use the context of where the information is found as well as the context within which it was written.

SIFT Information Evaluation Habits

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Stop

  • Do you know the website?
  • What is its reputation?
  • What is your purpose?
  • How do you feel?
  • Consider cognitive biases.

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Investigate the Source

  • What exactly is the source?
  • What can you find out about the website?
  • What about the author?
  • Is it worth your time?

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Find Other Coverage

  • Is other coverage similar?
  • Can you find a better source?
  • One more trusted?
  • More in-depth?
  • What do expert sources agree on with coverage?

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Trace to the Original Source

  • Can you find the original source?
  • What is the original context?
  • Has it been accurately presented?

Scholarly Versus Popular Sources (HACC Video)