In evaluating the truth and usefulness of studied data it can be practical to notice out-points and plus-points in it.
An out-point is something that is wrong with a datum. Something doesn’t add up right. An out-point doesn’t mean that the data presented are false, but the outnesses have to be taken into consideration.
The statement “The mayor of San Francisco voiced concern about the water shortage problem in Los Angeles” might contain several outpoints. First there seems to be a wrong source. The mayor in San Francisco is the wrong person to say anything about the situation in Los Angeles. And we might maybe find that the statement was made 10 years ago and therefore has dropped time. We might find other out-points by checking the data further.
Plus-points are indicators that data are in good order, there is something right about them.
“I received a phone call from Mr.Smith at January 2nd, 2:15PM while I was home” contains several plus-points, such as correct source, time, place, and event. The more plus-points you find in your study materials and the less out-points the more potential usefulness will they have for you.
You study to find the truth in the area and to be able to apply what you learn. If you can evaluate the quality of the data you stand a much better chance.
Reference: Study Basics Course, Page 54/55.