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Evaluating News Sources: Identify Fake News

Spot fake news from real news with this guide.

Follow These Basic Tips

Consider Language: Loaded vs. Neutral

Loaded terms are words that make the reader question the credibility of the source. Objective news stories will use terms that may seem boring or colorless, but avoid showing the source in a biased light.

For instance, using the term “claimed” - considered a loaded word - instead of “said” - a neutral word - throws doubt on the source’s statement.




Loaded terms Neutral words
Alleged Said
Asserted Stated
Avowed Told
Claimed Related
Declared Announced


Use Fact-Checking Sites & Tools

  •  A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
  • SciCheckFocuses exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy.
  • PolitifactPulitzer Prize-winning fact-check site.
  • SnopesAward-winning fact-checking site.

Evaluating Information on the Internet

Fake News Videos

Did you know that the library's Films on Demand database has two videos on how to recognize fake news? Access them by clicking the image below!