inquiry research TEKS talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes.

Provide students with a variety of media and text and have them decide whether each is reliable and credible or displays bias. Have students explain their process for deciding what information is reliable, credible, or biased and deciding what information is missing.

Further Explanation

Students are expected to review sources to determine if the source is a valid reference. Students in grade eight should be increasingly proficient in determining whether sources are objective, reliable, credible, and free from bias.

the quality of having reliable and trustworthy characteristics and being accepted as true or real
Students should be able to review sources for a research project to determine if they are valid references for gathering supporting or clarifying information. Students should review a source by considering the objectivity of their information. Examining sources typically requires students to do some research on the source itself to determine if it should be used. Students might need to determine the reputation a source has among peers in that field; consider the consistency of previously provided information or documentations (e.g., has the source been proven wrong or questioned regularly?); and determine if there are any affiliations between the source and parties who may benefit from the source’s presenting the facts in a certain way.
When reviewing sources, students should specifically determine whether sources are reliable and credible or contain bias of any kind. A reliable source is one that is one that presents a well-thought-out argument, information, or discussion based on accurate evidence. Credible sources are those that have established a reputation for being trustworthy and accurate. For example, an online health journal that is often cited in the field of medicine and has won prestigious awards based on rigorous metrics of quality and accuracy has more credibly than a personal wellness blog run by someone without formal education or experience in the health sciences. When a source contains bias, it leans toward a certain outcome or idea and is not objective.
a source that is accurate, based on fact, current, logically sound; written by a qualified author

Related 2009 Student Expectation

This student expectation is related to the following SE from the 2009 reading/language arts TEKS.

(24)  Research/Synthesizing Information. Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information. Students are expected to:
(B)  utilize elements that demonstrate the reliability and validity of the sources used (e.g., publication date, coverage, language, point of view) and explain why one source is more useful and relevant than another.


1. Kinsey, B., & Comerchero, V. A. (2012). Language in style: Formal language and tone. Communique, 41(1), 37. Retrieved from

Summary: Kinsey and Comerchero discuss the use of language. Topics include redundancy, word choice, and words that reflect and/or imply assumptions, beliefs, and biases. Words that trigger emotions are included as a part of the discussion. The overall emphasis in this article is the formal writing style and its function. The writing style should be formal. The article provides examples of how word choice and the sequence of words significantly change meaning.

2. Francke, H., Sundin, O., & Limberg, L. (2011). Debating credibility: The shaping of information literacies in upper secondary schools. Journal of Documentation, 67(4), 675–694. doi:10.1108/00220411111145043

Summary: Francke, Sundin, and Limberg examine how secondary students assess the credibility of a resource. The study questions whether students place more credibility on digital resources than print resources. The students in this study were observed and interviewed as they were tasked with searching for information from various sources. Information literacy includes determining the credibility of a resource. The authors include four different approaches that can be used to assess resources for their credibility.

3. Christensen-Branum, L., Strong, A., & Jones, C. O. (2018). Mitigating myside bias in argumentation. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(4), 435–445. Retrieved from

Summary: In this study, students learn how to examine sources to determine whether the source is reliable, credible, and/or is biased. The authors outline specific questions that the student should ask when reviewing any source. Does the author provide a counterargument? Does the author use current research to support his or her position? Does the author use primary or secondary resources? Does the author use a negative tone of voice or negative language to talk about the subject? Most importantly, the student should be able to determine whether the author critically reflected the idea and presented the information without bias. 

4. White, A. (2016). Using digital think-alouds to build comprehension of online informational texts. The Reading Teacher, 69(4), 421–425. doi:10.1002/trtr.1438

Summary: This article targets the ongoing consumption and creation of information online and in other digital spaces. White suggests that the fluidity and dynamics of digital information represents significant difficulties for students. Students are required to develop information literacy skills, strategies, and attitudes that support ways to critically assess resources for bias, reliability, and credibility.