Is the Information Accurate and Documented

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Do you believe everything you see on TV?

Of course not.

Just the same, you shouldn't believe everything in print...

... or on the web.

When you look for information, always question it.

Make it earn your trust.

When you find different sources of information on the same subject, ask yourself:

How do they compare?

If the authors use statistics, what are their sources?

Do those sources seem credible?

Can you verify the information?

. . .

For example:

We want to know the divorce rate in the United States.

NationMaster.com says the "most recent" reports put the divorce rate at 4.95 divorces per year per 1,000 people.

But an article in Newsweek magazine says the divorce rate is 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people.

A third source, DivorceMagazine.com, also says the divorce rate is 3.6

. . .

Which is right?

Let's take a closer look.

. . .

NationMaster.com says its number comes from 2004 data from DivorceReform.com.

Newsweek's source is a 2005 report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

DivorceMagazine.com cites the same 2005 report.

. . .

So . . .

The divorce rate in the second and third sources seems more useful.

It is more current

and is cited in more than one source.

Also, we can check the credibility of the National Center for Health Statistics with a quick internet search.

To be thorough, we could even find the original report and check the data first-hand.

. . .

Question information sources;

Compare them to each other;

Verify data and statistics.

Sources

Deveny, Kathleen and Karen Springen. "So Where's the Epidemic?" Newsweek 6 Oct. 2008: 61.

"Divorce Rate (Most Recent) by Country." NationMaster.com. NationMaster, n.d. Web. 15 Jun. 2010. <http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_div_rat-people-divorce-rate>



"U. S. Divorce Statistics." Divorce Magazine.com. Seque Esprit, n.d. Web. 15 Jun. 2010. <http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS.shtml>