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Honors College Co-Curricular Workshops

Complete your honors project successfully through this workshop series. This will help students build research, writing, and presentation skills.

Beyond the Truthiness: Information as a Conversation

"And that brings us to tonight's word: Truthiness. Now I'm sure some of the word-police, the "wordanistas" over at Webster’s, are gonna say, "Hey, that's not a word!" Well, anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen...”

– Stephen Colbert, October 17, 2005, The Colbert Report

Lee, Samantha and Shana Lebowitz. "20 cognitive biases that bcrew up your decisions." Business Insider, 26 Aug. 2015, 12:38,


  • What is the publication date or last date updated?
  • Is the content timely, useful, and valid for your information need?


  • Who wrote the content?
  • What makes that individual author or organization qualified to write it? What other information about the author is included?
  • Who sponsored the content?


  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, to entertain, or to promote a product or service? 
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Does the information seem credible? If so, can you check the information against another resource (i.e. book, journal article, newspaper, etc.) for credibility?


  • Is content biased?
  • Are opinions balanced or does the author have an agenda?
  • How does the bias influence the information?

Writing Style




  • Does the information contain a bibliography, references, or a comprehensive list of sources supporting its theme, topic, or agenda?
  • Is content presented at an appropriate level for an academic research paper?
  • Does the supporting information fit your research need?
  • Is the work complete, or is it a summary of other work?

Get to the Truth

  1. How is the language influencing your results?​
  2. How does the priority of terms and search operators affect the results?​
  3. Where are you looking for the information?​
  1. What perspective does the author present?​
  2. How does the author phrase their argument?​
  3. What does the language tell you about their perspective and motives?​
  4.  What are the reasons that the author supported their position?​
  5. What made the article more/less persuasive than another?​
    1. Why?​
    2. What is the other article?​
  6. Have you changed your mind on the issue?​
    1. Why did it change?​
    2. What would change your mind? What would it take?

Who Cares?

  1. Who are the key players that have something to say about your topic?​
  2. Where do you find their voices?
  3. ​Are you listening to the different participants?

Why do you care?

  1. What are your goals for using the information?​
  2. How are you interpreting the information in front of you?​
  3. How are you remembering things?​

Be curious & open-minded​

Ask questions if you don't understand​

Look for and understand disagreements​

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