Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
All Hours

BIOL 180

How to Read Science News

Evaluating Information


  • Evidence
  • Do the facts hold up? 
  • Can you verify - names, numbers, places, documents?
  • Source
  • Who made this? It is trustworthy?
  • Trace who has touched the information - authors, publishers, funders, aggregators, social media users
  • Context
  • What's the big picture?
  • Is the whole story presented?  What are the other forces surrounding it - current events, cultural trends, political goals, financial pressures?
  • Audience
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Look for attempts to appeal to specific groups or types of people - image choices, presentation techniques, language, content
  • Purpose
  • Why was this made?
  • Look for clues to the motivation - publisher's mission, persuasive language or images, moneymaking tactics, stated or unstated agendas, calls to action
  • Execution
  • How is the information presented?
  • Consider how the way it's made affects the impact - style, grammar, tone, image choices, placement/layout