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Evaluating Web Information
When looking at a website, evaluate it using criteria such as:
Purpose & Audience
- Who is the site designed for?
- Is the site scholarly or popular?
- Are there advertisements on the site?
- What is the overall purpose of the site?
Authority & Credibility
- Can the author of the site be identified?
- What are the author's qualifications?
- Is the site affiliated with a particular organization?
- What is the domain of the site (.edu, .gov, .org, .com)?
- Do you think the author has expertise on the subject?
Accuracy & Reliability
- Does the site appear to be well-researched?
- Are there references to the sources of informations supporting the site's statements or viewpoints?
- Does the site include grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors?
- How does the site compare to library resources available on the topic?
Currency & Timeliness
- When was this information published?
- Does the page indicate when it was most recently updated?
- Are there dead links on the page?
Objectivity or Bias
- Does the site present many opinions or just one?
- Can you tell if the site presents mostly opinions or facts?
- Can you identify any bias in the information presented?
- Is the site sponsored by a company or organization?
- If there are advertisements, are they easy to distinguish from the informational content?
Structure & Navigation
- Is the site well organized?
- Is it easy to navigate between different pages on the site?
- Does the site offer a search box?
Finally, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this site a reliable, well-documented information source provided by a reputable author or organization?
- Would this be a good source of information for my assignment?