chapter  4
Separating Facts and Fiction—How to Become a More Effective Researcher and a More Critical Reader
ByKevin J. Fandl
Pages 19

In today's politically charged environment both within the United States and in many other parts of the world, information is the key to winning an election, making a wise business decision, or enacting smart public policies. To combat the risk of confusing opinion for fact and of making conclusions on the basis of limited or biased information, this chapter tries to understand the critical analysis and reasoning process. It discusses the importance of critical analysis in our research and review of daily news, social media, and scholarly works. The chapter also discusses how to separate fact from fiction when reviewing content. It explains the selection of sources to effectively provide structure to our own arguments and analysis. In an ideal world, every researcher would rely upon reputable, accurate research published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and would use multiple sources to support each assertion of fact.