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Introduction to SIFT: Teaching Resources

Weighing Arguments

Weighing Arguments for Context and Perspective

Once you've SIFT-ed through an array of sources and begin engaging with a source more deeply, you should think about the impact of different points/arguments/assertions used by the author(s). Some basic ways to begin developing context and perspective by weighing arguments that are used is to consider their impact:

  • Magnitude: Severity of the impact and the size of the harm.
  • Scope: How broadly the impact is felt across a population and many people an impact effects.
  • Probability: How likely it is that an impact will occur. 
  • Individual vs. Societal: Is the impact felt by individuals? Society as a whole? Both?
  • Timeframe: Is it a short-term or long-term harm? Will the harm come about now or later? Linear harms which occur all the time, preclusivity (harm occurs before their benefits occur)

Adapted from UIL at the University of Texas at Austin. Click here for the full list of impacts. 


SIFT Infographic

Types of News/Online Sources

Types of News/Online Sources: 

News, Analysis, Opinion/Advocacy, Human Interest...

Click here for more from Allsides


No, Your Cat Isn't Trying to Kill You!


Don't believe the headlines!


SIFT Summative

Show what you know!

Using the SIFT skills and strategies presented so far, which organization is more credible?


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