The Senior Project will be an INDUCTIVE process. You will do SOME research as you have in the past for this project, but you will begin by creating a question (theorizing) and then researching and exploring the answers to that question. Your research MUST BE UNBIASED, which means that you can’t have an idea of what you want to “argue” before you begin your research. Unlike most of the writing you have done, you will not start with a thesis. You will start with a question that will lead you to discover the answer (your thesis) through research.
You will prepare and deliver a formal oral presentation that incorporates all the English course skills learned in the past four years.
©Sam Wineburg & Sarah McGrew 2017
Abstract1 The Internet has democratized access to information but in so doing has opened the floodgates to misinformation, fake news, and rank propaganda masquerading as dispassionate analysis. To investigate how people determine the credibility of digital information, we sampled 45 individuals: 10 Ph.D. historians, 10 professional fact checkers, and 25 Stanford University undergraduates. We observed them as they evaluated live websites and searched for information on social and political issues. Historians and students often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names. They read vertically, staying within a website to evaluate its reliability. In contrast, fact checkers read laterally, leaving a site after a quick scan and opening up new browser tabs in order to judge the credibility of the original site. Compared to the other groups, fact checkers arrived at more warranted conclusions in a fraction of the time. We contrast insights gleaned from the fact checkers’ practices with common approaches to teaching web credibility.
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