First Visual Scan of the Page

Bram's picture

Before you get into reading, there are many markers (clues) about the trustworthiness of a page.  These include the URL (which tells you where you are), the look of the page (fake and questionable news sites often have screens cluttered with image ads) and the writing style (formal, grammatical text that had an editor's eye, or ALL CAPS exclamations (WOW!) and sloppy grammar. 

One can very quickly answer these questions:

  1. Is this the domain name you expected?
  2. Is the page full of ads, or is the ad / content ratio reasonable?
  3. What key claim does the headline and lead paragraph make?
  4. Does title seem to match content, or is it obvious "click-bait"?
  5. Is the writing formal and grammatical, as if it were reviewed by editors who care about standards? 
  6. Is this content identified as branded or advertising content?
  7. Is there a byline, or is there "no accountable author"?
  8. Is there a dateline to indicate whether this is current, given topic of article?

Parent Chapter: 

Web Media Literacy