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Lateral Reading: Home

Lateral Reading Explained

Lateral reading is paradoxically the act of NOT reading a website in order to examine and investigate the website's content and information. Fact checkers, people who are paid to determine a website's bias and truthfulness, employ lateral reading techniques. Instead of determining a website's credibility through vertical reading (often through a CRAAP test); looking for date of publication, authorship, domain name, and bias, fact checkers quickly leave the site and open up new tabs in their browser to look for what others have said about the website being examined.

Lateral readers pay little attention to how the site appears, instead they quickly leap off a site and open new tabs. They investigate a site by leaving it.

source: Wineburg, S., & McGrew, S. (2017). Lateral reading: Reading less and learning more when evaluating digital information.


Some Evaluation Resources

The following evaluation sources were suggested by Samantha Stanley.

Verify by opening new tabs in your browser, not new windows.

Snopes  |  Wikipedia  |  Google  |  AllSides  | WebMii  | bellingcat

How to Spot Fake News

Lateral Reading Handout

Lateral Reading Handout is created by Robert Detmering, Amber Willenborg, and Terri Holtze for University of Louisville Libraries and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Lateral Reading (from U of Louisville Libraries)

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