Distinguishing good and bad article critiques

With the internet showing no signs of slowing down, you can expect the same from the multitude of articles that get published on the World Wide Web every day. Although more information is always a good thing, the problem with the ease with which people can publish articles is that often times quality suffers. Anyone can log on, start a webpage or often times post to existing ones and now a new article from another supposed expert on the subject exists. So it's important to have the ability to read articles with a critical eye. Read on for a list of ways to critique an article before deciding to take it at its word.

Check the Source

The first thing you should do is check the article's source. This means the author, the author's employer and the website it was first published on. What you're looking for is a bias that might deserve scrutiny, depending on the topic. If it's simply an article about someone's personal taste on a subject, this source checking is slightly less important. For the most part, they will be upfront about their bias; in fact, that's probably what the article is about. That being said, it's still important to check sources for any facts they may present.

Where source checking really comes in to play is when the subject is presented as objective fact. This happens a lot in articles about politics, for example. It's very likely that the author has some kind of bias, so it makes sense to research what it might be. Of course having a bias or a biased website promoting their article, doesn't mean the author is wrong in what they're saying.

Check the Author's Experience

Bias can certainly lead to an author misconstruing facts. However, so can just a lack of experience. An author with the best intentions might end up quoting or citing sources that are inaccurate, simply because he or she doesn't know any better. Unfortunately, a lack of experience can sometimes often means unnecessary sensationalism for the sake of views and attention. Again, neither of these things is automatic, but it's worth considering when you read over a new author's article.

The World Wide Web has made information easier than ever to gather. While this has many benefits, the downside can be that often this information is lacking in quality. Use the above methods to scrutinize the information you find on the internet and you will be closer to ensuring you are only receiving quality information.

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