Skip to Main Content

LANG 1403 Online Workshop & Guide

This module should take about 1 hour & then a short quiz. Learn & Enjoy!

Remember to Evaluate - as you search & as you think and create

Your LANG 1403 language teachers address this, but review this information too. Remember that evaluation & selection an important part of your searching and creating

Watch the videos and read the information in the boxes below.

Video on evaluating sources: who, what, when!  (2 min):


Lateral Reading (3 min 33 sec) from the University of Louisville Library

Evaluate Information Quality

Using newspaper as an example

  • Format: Tabloid vs Newspaper of record
    • A tabloid is a newspaper that has small pages, short articles, and lots of photographs. Contents are often considered to be less serious.
    • Newspaper of record is regarded as an authoritative and complete repository of factual information.
  • Political stance (objectivities vs biases)
  • Types of news articles (facts vs opinions)
    • news report – inform readers of what is happening in the world around them 
    • commentaries – written explanation or discussion of a topic
    • editorials – expresses the editor's opinion on a subject of particular interest
  • Evidence such as statistics, video footage… 
  • Authority is contextual - impact of COVID

daily mirror front page

image credit 1

the guardian front page

image credit 2

the times front page


Political stance: Labour

Newspaper of record

Political stance: Centre-left

Newspaper of record

Political stance: Conservative

image credit 1: 8th May 2020 - VE-Day 75 - Daily Mirror by Bradford Timeline, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / resized from original

image credit 2: 8th May 2020 - VE-Day 75 - Corona Virus - Guardian by Bradford Timeline, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / resized from original

Evaluate all Sources

  • Published information is not necessarily trustworthy or useful.
  • Always evaluate the credibility & suitability of information sources.

Who (Authority)

  • Can you identify the author? What are the author's credentials?
  • If the author is an organization, what type of organization is it? Check the domain (the three-letter extension of the URL) for affiliation, e.g., gov (government site), edu (academic site), com (commercial site), org (organization site). 
  • Who hosts or publishes the webpage? Is the webpage affiliated with a reputable organization?
  • Look for the information in "about", "about us", "who we are" or "what is"... This usually appears on the top or at the bottom of the Website's homepage.

When (Currency, Timeliness)

  • How up-to-date is the information listed?
  • When was it published?
  • When was the webpage last revised?  (last revised or updated date)

What (Objectivity & Evidence)

  • What is the purpose of this book, journal, magazine, site or page? Why was it created? 
  • Is it striving for objectivity? Avoid obvious bias if you are trying to report "facts", and try to cross-check.
  • Is the content "scholarly" or "popular"? Is the topic covered in-depth, or is it given a general or surface treatment?
  • Did the author give evidence or acknowledge the original sources of any data/figures/charts included?
  • Does it suit my needs?

Cross-check and Fact Check

  • Can you find the information, theories etc. backed up by other information sources (newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals)
  • Cross-check statistics, news reports, etc.
  • Beware of fake news circulating on social media, explore these fact-check sites

Other evaluation frameworks:





Purpose/point for creation






Reason (for creation)






Using ChatGPT and other Generative AI Tools

A common problem with many generative AI text tools is that they generate plausible but factually incorrect information (hallucinations) or fabricated references (hallucitations), examples:

So, if you are using texts generated by ChatGPT or other generative AI tools, be cautious and cross check the information. Evaluate the information provided, just like anything you plan to use academically.

Just as we've covered in the sections above:

1. Cross-check what it says & do "lateral reading"

  • Check against your own knowledge
  • Check against WikipediaBritannica, and/or other reliable sources to see if they state the same information
  • This is not new with generative AI, it's always been good scholarly practice

2. Confirm that any references it provides are real

3. If the references (citations) are real, check that they support the claim

  • This is *NOT* a new issue with AI tools, it's always been important to do so.
  • This is proper scholarly practice when working with sources both in print and online.
© HKUST Library, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. All Rights Reserved.