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ELI 34: Academic Writing IV: Websites & more

Evaluating Websites

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project. I give out this handout in class and students apply the SCRAP test when evaluating websites.


Website Evaluation Criteria

Try the SCRAP Test

 S- Scope


·         What is the depth of the site? Too elementary, too advanced?

·         Does it provide comprehensive coverage or mere compilation of links?

·         Is it relevant to your information needs?


 C- Currency

 ·         Is there a date when the site was created or last updated?

·         Are the hyperlinks current?

·         In the absence of a copyright or revision date, can you determine if the information is current?


R- Reliability

·         Are the sources documented? Can you verify them?

·         Are the research methods revealed or is the content primarily opinion based? Is it balanced information?

·         Is the content coming from scholarly/peer-reviewed sources?

·         Does it have an unbiased tone?


·         Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?

·         What are their credentials/qualifications?

·         What are their organizational affiliations?

·         Is there contact information?

  P- Purpose/Point of View

·         Why is the information being posted? Who is the target audience? Determine if the site is trying to inform, teach, entertain, advertise, persuade or sell.

·         Is there any bias or do the points of view appear to be objective?

·         Who is sponsoring the website?

o   Consider domains (.com, .edu, .org, .gov, .biz, .net etc.)

o   A tilde (~) in the Web address often indicates a personal Web page.

Sample Websites

The websites below are varied including blogs. This is only for background information. Use a scholarly journal article as a source for your paper.