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ESL 400/LIBR 100 Readings: Fallacy assignment

How to refine searches on Google

You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.

  • Google Search usually ignores punctuation that isn’t part of a search operator.
  • Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term. A search for will work, but site: won’t.

Search social media: Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price: Put $ in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags: Put # in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Exclude words from your search: Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match: Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search for wildcards or unknown words:  Put a * in your word or phrase where you want to leave a placeholder. For example, "largest * in the world".

Search within a range of numbers: Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches: Put "OR" between each search query. For example,  marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site: Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, or

Search for related sites: Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example,

Get details about a site: Put "info:" in front of the site address.

See Google’s cached version of a site: Put "cache:" in front of the site address.

"How to refine web searches." Refine web searches, Google Search Help, 2021.

Nonpartisan websites

These organizations seek to offer objective information.

What do your neighbors watch, read or listen to?

See what news outlets people in your area prefer on the Pew Research Center "What is your local news landscape?" webpage.


All writing in this class will be text-based; for example, you may need to respond to an article you have read. You will have three prepared written essays. Click on each assignment to see the assignment and grading rubric. Please note that these assignments may change and you will be alerted if so. 

 Essay 1: Describe a significant challenge you experienced and how you overcame it Cañada College

 Essay 2: Discuss an educational issue and its impact/s on students today

 Essay 3: Examine a significant ethical, social, or political issue and propose a solution

For each of the above essays, you will write your essay by:

1. Critically reading and annotating articles, texts, poetry, passages, and essays related to the topic

2. Critically reflecting and discussing the readings with classmates

3. Conducting research and collecting valid information from reliable sources (Library databases)

4. Brainstorming ideas and topics

5. Organizing and outlining your ideas

6. Writing at least 2 drafts, which include quotes from the readings and research

7. Doing a peer review/giving feedback

8. Providing a copy of a second (or third) draft to the professor for feedback

9. Using peer and professor feedback, revise, edit, proofread, and rewrite your essay, then

10. Posting a revised, final draft on Canvas and Turnitin (to check similarity report, which means plagiarism)

11. Writing a one-page reflection on the process of each of your prepared essays and

12. Finally, writing/completing an editing log based on the professor’s feedback and all you’ve learned (see assignments on Canvas for more information)

Examine the publication or website you are reading for bias

Media Bias Chart 2021

                media bias chart



Although people disagree with how bias in these publications and news outlets are characterized, this illustration shows how both liberal and conservative viewpoints range from moderate to radical to irresponsible.

Copyright ©2021 Ad Fontes Media, Inc. Used with permission

Assessing websites for bias, slant, mission and information

For the fallacy assignment, we will leave the safety and security of library databases for the wild web. You have learned about how to search for scholarly sources in library databases. Now you have the challenge of evaluating popular sources and websites. Here are a few questions to ask about the website you are examining for your assignment:

  • What is the mission or goal of the website? To persuade? To substantiate claims? To inform?
  • Can you detect a bias in the website? Do you consider it liberal? Conservative? Moderate? Radical? If so, what is it about the language or information that leads you to think so?
  • Who wrote the material on the website? A nonprofit organization? A university? A branch of the military? A business or individual?

Who wrote it? : Domain names reveal website authors

Domain name Who uses it
.com business and commercial entities
.edu academic institutions, universities and colleges
.gov U.S. governmental agencies and entities
.org nonprofit organizations
.mil U. S. military