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ENGL 103 Wellman: Evaluating Web Information

In the research process: Critical evaluation of web sources

1. Early exploration of topic
(i.e Google; usually non-library sources)
2. Learn the background (library Discovery tool: books)
3. Discover scholarly conversations (library databases: journal articles)
4. Support your argument (source citation)
5. Rinse, repeat; drafts & revisions (research librarians, writing center)

 

 

Determining quality: you decide

This is a bad website:

Essays on the Anti Smoking Movement by Joe Dawson

Use this bad website to complete Exercise 1 in the worksheet.

 

 

Endings can indicate reliability

Sometimes, you can judge how reliable website information is by noting the URL ending.

.GOV - refers to a government website. Highly reliable. State and city websites are of similar high quality.

.EDU - often refers to a reliable educational website.

.ORG - implies a non-profit ORGanization. Approach with skepticism.

.COM - stands for "Commerce" and is used for business. Information on such a website will contain a large amount of bias. Approach with skepticism.