Improving fact-checks

Last week you practiced how and where you might find facts to check and experimented with Caulfield’s first two moves: (1) looking for previous work and (2) going upstream. You’ve also set up your WordPress sites and attempted to research, write, and post your first fact-check before today’s class. Today we are going to work on improving those posts, setting you up for an opportunity to revise them and compose a strong second post for HW.

So how did the first post go? Did you use one or both moves? What challenges did you encounter as you composed this fact check?

Criteria for “excellent” posts

You have two grades in this unit: 5 fact-checking blog posts (worth 5 x 10 points) and a more developed one at the end called Truth-O-Meter (worth 50 points). Although the final post will be greater in scope (that is, more detailed) the basic requirements are the same for the homework posts as the final one so as you work on these shorter posts, you’ll be reiterating the same basic process all the way through to the Truth-O-Meter post. That makes it important to understand the genre of the fact-check and its criteria for excellence. Here’s is a rubric of criteria my previous classes have developed:

Reviewing posts with

  1. In Chrome, exchange blog URLs with someone nearby and find their first fact-check. (All links are on our Blogroll)
  2. Begin by going upstream to read the original source they chose to fact-check.
  3. Now go back to their blog post, turn on, and enter the WRTs19 group. Read their post and make comments using, pointing out moments where they were being clear (👍) and offering additional support where necessary. As you read and re-read, do the following:
    • Comment on the original fact/source. Point out where or if they discuss how they encountered this fact/source and why they thought it needed to be fact-checked.
    • Comment on the techniques and moves. Point out places where you see them explicitly using Moves 1 & 2. Are they making these moves clear to readers with their language (“First, I looked to see if anyone had fact-checked this claim,” “Second, I checked Wikipedia to see…,” “Third, I went upstream on the first link by…”)? Are they directing readers to their sources through embedded links?
    • Comment on the conclusion. Did the author summarize their research based on Caulfield’s definition of a fact (that is “a claim by which there is general agreement by people in the know”)?
    • Comment on the links and media. Are images, video, and audio embedded? Are they useful? Do they enhance the post?
    • Add something new. Contribute a new move or build from one they already used. For example, if they used Wikipedia for one term but not another, add some content for that second term.

Homework for Thursday, 2/28

Read Caulfield 16-18

Post Fact-check #2: Going Upstream on Images. Drawing from chapters 12-14, practice going upstream on a viral photo, image, or video you find (need help finding something? Google “viral,” “viral photos, etc.” — or look on Reddit).