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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

CICS 191 Class Visit

Guide for First Year Seminars in the College of Information and Computer Sciences

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Libraries Scavenger Hunt!

Go to the Libraries' website to see if you can find answers to a few questions about the Libraries! 

Website Scavenger Hunt

UMass Amherst Libraries Website

Discovery Search

Use Discovery Search to find a scholarly resource on a topic that interests you.

Scholarly Resource Activity

Discovery Search

Evaluating Sources

Information is plentiful, but the truth is hard to find.

Mike Caulfield Lateral Reading Story

Tips and Tutorials on Evaluating Resources (also Fact-Checking sites!)

Lateral Reading with SIFT

study has shown that factcheckers are REALLY GOOD at determining credibility from clickbait. How do they do it? 

When looking at resources online, such as blogs or videos or news articles, use lateral reading to quickly establish if the source is credible and accurate.


The four moves of SIFT are essentially about RECONTEXTUALIZING what you read online. In doing so, you give yourself enough information to absorb digital content effectively and make informed decisions.

  1. Stop: Do you know the resource or the website it came from? If you aren't familiar with a source and its reputation, this is your cue stop reading and start investigating. Don't share or use a story, until you've learned more about it. 
  2. Investigate the source: Know what you are reading before you read it. Knowing who is writing the work and why they are writing it is critical to your ability to interpret it. Take 60 seconds to determine where the source is coming from before reading further.   
  3. Find Better Coverage: The claim being made is often important than the specific article or video you are using. To verify the claim, step outside of the story you found and look for additional, trusted reporting about the claim from another source(s). 
  4. Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media: Very often information online is taken out of context. Find the original source of any claims, quotes, and media for their original context. 

Source: SIFT (The Four Moves), by Mike Caulfield. June 19, 2019.  

Investigate the Source

Lateral Reading

Use Lateral Reading to investigate the source of this article. Is it reliable? 

Natural News Article

Natural News Article