Skip to Main Content

SIFT-ing to Evaluate Sources

The SIFT strategy is quick, simple, and can be applied to various kinds of online content: social media posts, memes, statistics, videos, images, news articles, scholarly articles, etc.

How do we "Stop"?

Yellow hand held up with text that says Stop The first move is the simplest. STOP reminds you of two things:

  1. If you STOP before you start reading content, you’re able to ask yourself if you trust the website or the source of information. Don’t read it or share it until you know what it is.
  2. Further on, you may have to STOP again to remind yourself what your goal is. Adjust your strategy if it isn't working. Make sure you approach the problem at the right amount of depth for your purpose.
  3. The steps can be completed in any order, other than STOP being first, and you may not even need all of the steps depending on the information and your questions about it. 

Let's Try It

                            This first step reminds you to STOP when you feel strong emotion, surprise, or just an irrepressible urge to share something. Then use the other moves you'll find described in this guide. 

Now let's try it...

Is there information you've encountered recently where you could have stopped and questions or stopped and reflected before sharing? 


Using a notebook or Google doc, write about a recent experience with information you encountered where you either:

    a) stopped and considered the source or

    b) should have stopped and taken more time to ask questions.

Creative CommonsAcknowledgement

Note: The information on this SIFT guide was adapted from "Check, Please!" (Caulfield) & the adaptation guide from Wayne State University. The canonical version of this course is available at (Links to an external site). The text and media of this site, where possible, is released into the CC-BY, and free for reuse and revision. We ask people copying this course to leave this note intact so that students and teachers can find their way back to the original (periodically updated) version if necessary. We also ask librarians and reporters to consider linking to the canonical version.

As the authors of the original version have not reviewed any other copy's modifications, the text of any site not arrived at through the above link should not be sourced to the original authors.