Conquer Fake News!

In a recent Toastmasters International article, speaking of fake news and how to conquer it, Gale is mentioned as a reliable source of authoritative information. Here is a small excerpt:

“Knowing how they work can help you get more relevant results from your searches.

Try to distill your search down to the most important words. To research the topics in this article, for example, you might focus on the idea of evaluating sources of fake news. You might begin with these search terms: fake news evaluation. Many databases search for a string of words together. If the database uses Boolean operators, the search fake news AND evaluation may return better results. All articles returned by that search will have fake news and evaluation somewhere in the article.

We may want to put fake news in quotes to ensure those words are searched together, “fake news.” This is also useful when searching the titles of specific books or movies, as in “run lola run,” or names of organizations, like “toastmasters international.” Truncation is a way to get all forms of a word. The truncation symbol varies from database to database, but frequently an asterisk is used. If we then run the search “fake news” and evaluat*, all of the articles will mention fake news and all will have a form of the word evaluate – evaluates, evaluating, evaluated, evaluation, evaluations.

If the search is not pulling up enough articles, consider synonyms or near-synonyms for some of the words. In this article, we have seen “alternative facts”, “rumors” and “urban legends” used in place of “fake news.” Use the Boolean operator OR to link these terms, as in: “fake news” OR “urban legend*”. We might as well put a truncation ­symbol after “legend” to catch both singular and plural forms of the word. We can combine all of these in one search, using parentheses to clarify what is being AND-ed and OR-ed, like this: (“fake news” OR “urban legend*”) AND evaluat*. The resulting articles are likely to be relevant to your search and provide good content for your speech.

When trying to locate facts for speeches, consider adding the word statistics or reviews to your subject search, such as: breast cancer AND statistics or iphone AND reviews. Your audience will give more credence to your point of view if you include objective facts or the views of respected experts in support of your position.”

Read the full article to learn more about spotting and eliminating fake news >>