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HOWLER Tutorials: PROWL Tutorial


PROWL Video - PROWL Tutorial


During the spring and summer of 2023, the teaching and learning team of Madison College Libraries decided to create our own method of source evaluation. Although there are parts of all popular methodologies we like, no one model seemed to work best with our students. Therefore we borrowed from methods we like and have expanded on concepts we wish to emphasize. 

Image: Meme says "there is never a need to PROWL alone" with four students in front of Goodman South campus

Whenever you are unsure about whether a source is reliable or credible, check with a Madison College Librarian!

PROWL Evaluation

Prepare to:

Image: Logo for PROWL. Text explanation follows.

P - Pause

Pause as you come upon a page or post and ask yourself if you have any strong emotions about it. Does the page or post have any biases? What is your purpose in looking at it and do you bring in any of your own biases as you read it?

R – Retrace

Retrace, if necessary, where your source came from to see it in its original context and if it is accurate with what you now see.

O – Observe

Observe the credentials of the author or organization putting out the information to check to see if it is reliable, if their information is supported by evidence, and if the tone seems unbiased.

W – Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Take a couple of minutes to review the 5 W’s, a strategy journalists use in vetting their sources. Who wrote the source? What are they arguing or pointing out? When did they write it and is it current enough? Where did they find their sources? Why did they write it?

L – Look

Look for other sources of information, perhaps more-trusted or in-depth, that confirm, complement, or refute the page or post you’re reading.