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Evaluating Web Resources
Be a smart surfer! Ask yourself these questions before using a source.
To whom is the site directed? – children, adults, students; a certain ethnicity, gender, or political affiliation?
Is it understandable by the layman, or is it highly technical requiring specialized knowledge?
Is the author of the site listed? Is the author real?
Can you determine the author's expertise?
Is contact information given – phone number, address, e-mail?
With what organization is the author associated?
Does the language, tone, or treatment of its subject give the site a particular slant or bias?
Is it designed to sway opinion? Organizational affiliation can often indicate bias.
Are potential objections taken seriously?
If other sources are cited, click the links to make sure they exist. Do a Google search on any people cited, to verify they actually said what the author is claiming they said.
Is the site up-to-date with working links?
Are dates given for when it was created and last updated?
Is the topic current?
Is the site an in-depth study of the topic going several pages deep, or is it a superficial, single-page look at the subject?
Are statistics and sources referenced properly cited?
Does the site offer unique information not found anywhere else, e.g., print sources?
Other Guides for Evaluating Websites
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