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Lies, Misinformation, and Disinformation: Lesson: Evaluating Claims

Helpful definitions and tips for identifying fake news and understanding what it means to live in a post-truth world.

Questions to Ask

- Who made this message?

- Why was it made?

- Who is the target audience?

- Who paid for this message?

- Is the message fact/informational, opinion, or something else?

- Who might benefit from this message?

- Who might be harmed by this message?

- What kinds of action might I take in response to this message?

- How credible is the message (and what makes you think that)?

- What ideas, values, information, and/or points of view are overt? Implied?

- What is left out of this message that might be important to know?


I would like to give credit to Joe Hardenbrook of Carroll University.  Most of the information used to create this guide is from his libguide made for Carroll's Library.

Lesson: Evaluating Claims

Put your evaluative skills to work! Let's take a look at a dietary craze. Have you heard of buttered coffee?

Buttered coffee consists of:

  • hot coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp of unsalted, grass-fed butter
  • 1-2 tbsp of MCT oil (like coconut oil)
  • blended until smooth and frothy 

Buttered coffee, also referred to as Bulletproof ® Coffee after a brand name, is both popular and controversial in the health community.

Step 1: Watch the Why Are People Drinking Buttered Coffee informational video below to find out more.

Step 2: Then watch the other two videos in support of and against buttered coffee. Evaluate the claims of the videos using the "Questions to Ask."

Step 3: What do you think? Would you be taking up buttered coffee anytime soon?

Video: Kerrygold Butter Makes Bulletproof Coffee

Video: Stop Drinking Bulletproof Coffee

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