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English Language Studies Students

Information from the web

The internet can be a helpful resource, but the wide variety of sources doesn't always make it easy to figure out which information is the correct information. These videos will help you decide how to choose the best sources, so you can use the internet most effectively. 

Website Evaluation

This video from Ohlone College explains the process of evaluating websites when writing a research paper.

Evaluating Websites

There are many wonderful and reputable sources on the Internet but often it can be difficult to find them after weeding through all the sites that come up in a Google search.

Some criteria to look for include:

  • .com? .net? -- these are commercial sites
  • .org? -- this often indicates a non-profit
  • .gov? -- only government sites have this domain
  • .edu? -- only educational institutions have this domain

What type of domain does this page come from?

  • Is this someone's personal page?
  • What are the author or authors' credentials?

Who wrote the page?

  • Is the information current? When was the page last updated?
  • Are sources documented with footnotes, a list of references or links?
  • Do the links work? Do they link to relevant sites on the topic?
  • Do other reputable sites link to this page (search Google using the link operator: type link:http://www.website.com). You can also use http://www.backlinkwatch.com/.
  • Why was this page created? As a joke or satire? To misinform people? To sell a product? Or to provide useful and important information to a broad range or users?