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Using Appropriate Websites for School Research
- No Wikipedia
- No "Answer" websites: About.com; eHow.com; Askville; Answers.com; and Yahoo Answers
- No Blogs
- Generally .gov and .edu sites are the most trustworthy, followed by .org and then .com
- Make sure .edu site is not a student project. If it is student work, don't use it.
- When you find a website you would like to use, make sure you identify the sponsor of the website and determine if the sponsor is knowledgeable and trustworthy.
- The sponsor can usually be found at the bottom of the website near the copyright date. If it is not there, check the "Contact Us", "About Us" or "FAQs". If you can't find any information, try "Googling" the publisher/sponsor for more information.
- You can also try "backing out of a URL" to find more information about the sponsor. Example: http://www.kean.edu/~schandle/Students/LNerilo/what%20is%20cyberbullying.htm
Finding Parts of a Website for Citations
Group Activity: Evaluating Websites
A = AUTHOR
- Do you recognize the author/publisher of the website?
- If not, is there an "About Us" or "Contact Us" page?
- Are the qualifications of the author and/or publisher available?
- What is the last part of the URL (.gov, .edu, .org, .com)?
B = BIAS
- What is the purpose of the website (to inform, to persuade or to sell)?
- Is the website balanced (offering both sides of an issue) or is it biased (opinionated)?
C = CURRENCY
- Is there a date for the article or when the site was last updated?
- Is the article current enough for my research?
D = DESIGN
D = Design
- Is the website easy to navigate?
- Do the links work?
- Is the website free from spelling/grammatical errors?
E = EXCELLENT FIT
E= Excellent Fit
- Does the information meet my needs?
- Can I find information for my research project?