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EN 125: College Composition & Research

Website Class!

Today we're looking at websites! Break up into groups and use the D.R.A.M.A. Website Evaluation handout to evaluate one of the following websites (website will be assigned at random to each group):

Website #1

Website #2

Website #3

Website #4

Why Use Websites?

Why Use Websites?

You are allowed to use one website for your paper. This is a good opportunity to locate: 

  • Recent news articles
  • Local information
  • Government information 
  • Organizations
  • Associations

Websites are great to locate information you would not otherwise find in books and journal articles, especially recent news, social movements and statistics. You will find daily updates for Covid cases on a government website, for instance, and you won't find that in a book! BUT, websites require a lot of fact checking to make sure they're authentic and their information is good. Bad websites are plentiful, and many of them will look good at first glance. Choose your website wisely!

Website Evaluation

Website Evaluation

Anyone can create a website. It's your job to determine if a website is an appropriate resource for your paper. That means the website must be written by an authoritative person, without bias, and without trying to sell you something. Many websites are trying to sell you a product, and will do anything to convince you that you need that product, including publishing "informative" articles meant to sway your opinion. It's your job to sort these websites out of your searches, finding the good stuff and avoiding the bad. But how do you know what's bad or flat out misinformation?

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


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


  • Does the content of the source match your topic?


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


  • 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?


  • 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? 

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.

Citation Tools

Cite that book! Use to whip up a quick citation, and make sure to copy that citation down on your Evaluation Sheet.