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PCN 30 (Howard) Thinking Critically about Information

Group 1: Free College Tuition

You really want to finish college but it's so expensive. You are already working as many hours as you can and your family can't help out any more than they already do. You just heard that someone in San Francisco got free tuition and that soon all first year students in California will get to go community free too. That sounds great!!!  You want to know what that's all about so you look into it and come across this website. Does it explain what you want to know? What questions do you have about this website as a source? What makes it a reliable source or not?

Free Tuition is Not the Answer

Group 2: Credit Card Debt

You just got your first credit card and it's time to buy your textbooks for the semester so you charge it all. The bank wants you to pay your bill every month...on time. Whoops, you missed it by just a couple of...weeks...and now you are charged a high interest plus a late fee. A year later you are in over your head.  To control the panic you look up ways to manage the credit card debt you owe. You find some tips on different websites including this article. Is it useful to you? Why or why not? What things in particular jump out at you about this article and source?  What makes this a credible source?

Delinquent Credit Card Debt


Group 3: Energy Drinks

Your good friend has started drinking a lot of Monster energy drinks because he says it is helping him stay up later to study and he can work more hours at his part-time job.  You know he is under a lot of pressure but you aren’t sure that's such a good idea.  Your friend reassures you it is “perfectly safe” and sends you proof it works.  Read his article. What questions come up as you read this article? Why are those questions important to address to determine the quality of this source?


Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks 

Group 4: Fatigue

Ugh, what a drag. Every day you feel tired but can't sleep and you're sure you've gained the dreaded "freshman five" least two times over.  Your auntie says she knows exactly what your problem is because she read all about it on the internet.  Read one of these articles for yourself.  Decide whether your aunt is right. How do you know if this is good information to count on; what details are you watching for? What makes this a credible source or not?

Why Am I So Effing Tired?

Group 5: Air Pollution

In the past week with the devastating fires in Northern California, the air quality in the Bay Area has been reported to be very poor. You had already promised to go for a hike with friends but now you want to cancel. Your friends are teasing you and calling you a wimp for worrying about something "so minor".  You do some Google searches to see what you can find about being outdoors and air quality.  You come across this article. Is this a good source of information? What questions come up as you read the article?  Why do you think those questions are important to ask to determine the quality of the information? 

Should I Worry About Air Pollution While Exercising Outside?