A lot of time is spent by the media investigating the truth of various claims made by politicians, especially the candidates in an election.
Here’s a fact check of the 8th Republican debate of this election by reporters at the New York Times. Note that these could almost be annotations: quotes from statements by the candidates and extended evaluations of those statements based on research. In fact, Politifact has used annotation for just this purpose. Here’s Politifact’s annotated version of Obama’s 2015 State of the Union–each annotation investigates a claim by the President, using research from other sources to assess its truth.
To begin this assignment, find an apparently fact-based claim by one of the candidates–look at speeches, quotes in the news, and information on their campaign websites. Then:
- Highlight the claim and click “New note”
- Do some research into the facts–stick to reliable, neutral sources
- Paraphrase and cite your research to explain the relative truthiness of the statement
- Include a link to your source
- Tag your annotation “fact check,” in addition to “nextprez”
- Post your annotation
As a possible extension of this exercise, view other annotations tagged “fact check” and “nextprez” and evaluate the work. Has the contributor effectively challenged or supported the candidate’s claim? Leave them a reply on their annotation.