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EN 329 American Author in Historical Context: Websites

Why Use Websites?

Why Use Websites?

Websites are great to locate information you would not otherwise find in books and journal articles, especially recent news, social movements and statistics. BUT, websites require a lot of fact checking to make sure they're authentic and their information is good. Choose your website wisely!

 

Evaluating Websites

Domain Indicators

Domain Names

When evaluating a web resource, analyze the domain name and determine if the creator of the webpage can be trusted.

Domain Names / .com Commercial Intent - can be created by anyone / .org Organization - wide range of credibility / .edu Educational institution - Since 2001, must be US Institution of higher ed. / .gov Government entity - restricted to US government sites. Federal, state or local.

Domain Name Differences by adstarkel. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Website Evaluation

Website Evaluation

Anyone can create a website. It's your job to determine if a website is a scholarly resource.

Stop the D.R.A.M.A. around website selection! Use the checklist below as a guide to evaluate websites:

Date

  • How recent is the information?
  • Is the information current enough for your topic?

Relevance

  • Does the content of the source match your topic?

Accuracy

  • Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
  • Do the links on the webpage work properly?
  • Does the author provide references or sources for data?

Motivation

  • Why did the author create this source? To inform? To sell you something? To entertain? To sway your opinion?
  • Is the information fact or opinion?
  • Is it biased?

Authority

  • Who wrote this source?
  • What are the creator's credentials? Do they have a PhD or an advanced degree from an accredited university?
  • Who is the publisher?