Table of Contents

Unit 2: Planning Lessons for Informational and Argument Writing

2.2.4 Assessing the Credibility of Texts and Sources

The Grade 6 CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy Writing Standard 8 states:

“Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.”

Note the importance of teaching middle grade students how to effectively assess the credibility of sources — especially on the Internet — as they move into more cognitively demanding writing tasks.

In our increasingly digital world, one of the most powerful ways to engage students in learning to assess and analyze the credibility of the texts and sources they draw on for research and writing is to ask them to assess digital texts before they assess print texts.

When can you trust what you find on the Internet?

When students explore the idea that anyone can publish on the Internet, they begin to understand that not all sites are equally trustworthy. Students need to carefully evaluate the sites they use for research, and then decide which ones they can trust.

Time to View

Let's watch a teacher employ this strategy in the following lesson from Common Sense Media:

Using Critical Thinking to Find Trustworthy Websites External Link

Download transcript

Now, download and examine the lesson: Identifying High-Quality Sites. Note the emphasis on critical thinking and academic vocabulary that students need before beginning their analyses. Note also that the CCSS addressed in this research lesson are in Reading and Speaking and Listening, not in Writing. This is an excellent example of how the standards are interconnected and interdependent.

Time to Apply

After reviewing the lesson, answer one of the following questions:

 

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