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B.E.E. - An Introduction to Research: Explore - Internet Research

B.E.E. is an information literacy model created to help students conduct academic research.

Introduction to Internet Research

The internet is a fantastic resource when you know how to filter information. If you don't know what tools are available, it can become a hard place to navigate as anyone can publish anything on the internet!

Misinformation vs. Disinformation



Lateral Reading

There are many surface level red flags you might be familiar with when it comes to evaluating websites. Are there a lot of ads? Does the page cite sources? While these are good questions to ask, people/organizations are becoming better at deceiving internet users by ensuring they are not raising any of our red flags. Luckily, there is another way to combat this - lateral reading

Lateral reading is digging deeper into the source before you ever review the source.

Step 1: Identify the source you might want to use.

Step 2: Open a new tab and search for the name of the source you want to use.

Step 3: What does Wikipedia say about your source? Are there individuals connected to your source? Who is backing your source? 

Step 4: Open another tab and search the organization again. What are other sites saying? *If you're looking into a news story, this would be a good time to use a fact checking tool.

Lateral reading teaches you to look outside of the website to see if the source is credible.



Wikipedia can be a great place to start your research. Wikipedia can help you find other terms, important individuals/events, and other sources related to your research topic. When you search your topic, read the Wikipedia entry. You can find other key terms you can use when you continue your research. You can also find links to other important sources, such as statistics, on your topic. Wikipedia is not necessarily what you should use as a source, but you can use it as a tool to gain basic knowledge on a topic and link to other important sources. You can utilize Wikipedia in the lateral reading process to gain more information on an individual source.

Fact Checking Websites

There are many fact checking websites available, but listed below are three of the most recognizable sites. Fact checking websites are a great resource when you come across news that seems suspicious. - has a very user friendly search option.

Snopes - Snopes is a great site to use to look for stories that have gone viral. They have a "Hot 50" that is fun to browse.

Politifact - Politifact is a resource that can help you fact check current politics.

If you want to see if a fact checking website is upholding the principles of the International Fact Checking Network. Check to see if the website you're using is listed under the signatories on their website. You can also review their most recent assessment!


We all have bias, because we all have opinions! Having an opinion is important and it is equally important to have good sources to back up your information. There are many ways to identify bias. Ask yourself the following questions when you find a source to help you identify bias:

  • Is it an editorial, or opinion piece?
  • Are they using statements such as "in my opinion"?
  • Is there sarcasm, or name calling in the article?
  • Does the website have an about section? If so, are they affiliated to any organizations?

The Media Bias Chart is a good tool to use to help identify bias in news sources. You can utilize the media bias chart to help you find solid, credible news sources you can depend on.