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Evaluating Information

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Evaluating Websites

Information from the Web requires more and different scrutiny than print sources to determine its reliability.

When evaluating online sources, use the fact that the Web allows you to do things that aren't possible with print materials to your advantage. These things include strategies like using date filters, scanning search results for clues, verifying identity and/or ownership, reverse image searching, seeing a site's revision history, and more.

Types Of Websites

Web Domains

.com        Business / Commercial sites

.edu         U.S. Educational sites

.gov         U.S. Government sites

.mil          U.S. Military sites

.net          Network site

.org          Non profit organization site


It is especially important to use your critical thinking skills when evaluating websites. Here are some questions to consider:

1. Is it clear who the author/publisher is of the site?

2. What credentials does the author claim to have?

3. Can you contact the author via a feedback button? Is there a link to a local home page?

4. What is the author's objective in producing the document? Sales or advertising? Self-promotion? Lobbying? Public information?

5. Are there obvious errors of grammar or spelling?

6. How current is the site? Are links maintained? How recently has it been updated?

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