Part 4: Find Evidence To Evaluate Central Claim

We now ask you to research this central claim by finding evidence supporting or contradicting it. Please use any internet based source you trust. By evidence, we mean a statement, photo, video, audio, or statistic relevant to the central claim.  This evidence should be reported by a different source than the one whose content you are investigating. This evidence can either support the central claim or contradict it.

Guidance for the finding evidence for or against the central claim you’ve identified: 

(1) By evidence, we mean an article, statement, photo, video, audio, or statistic relevant to the central claim. This evidence should be reported by some other source than the author of the article you are investigating. This evidence can either support the central claim or go against it.

(2) To evaluate the central claim, you will be asked to search for evidence about the claim and to provide some information about the evidence you found (the steps of this process are described in detail below).

(3) We ask that you use the highest quality pieces of evidence to evaluate the central claim in your search.  If you cannot find evidence about the claim from a source that you trust, you should try to find the most relevant evidence about the claim you can find from any source, even one you don’t trust. In the task, you will be asked to note whether you do not trust the evidence provided by the original source.

(4) DO NOT directly copy and paste the headline or title of the article you are evaluating into the search engine as your search terms.

(5) DO select key terms related to the central claim to enter into the search engine as your search terms.

(6) DO try using synonyms for different key terms if you’re having trouble finding evidence from sources you trust.

(7) To locate relevant evidence, try to also include in your search terms the names of key people, locations, actions and events described in the article, when possible.

(8) For claims about current events, you should also include search terms related to when the event occurred or the link you are evaluating was published (e.g., the month and/or year) to help locate relevant evidence.

(9) DO NOT use extreme language. For example, if an article uses extreme language in the way it states its claim, searching using those same extreme terms may make you more likely to only encounter sources that agree with the article you are evaluating (vs more diverse perspectives or reporting on the claim). Therefore, when evaluating an article that uses extreme language, you should try searching using more neutral terms.