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Trissler: DigLit - 2020 Research Unit: Website Evaluation

First Step: Read URLs !

When choosing an appropriate scholarly/academic website for a school project, the starting point is always "reading" the webpage's URL (Universal Resource Locator or web address found in the Browser box).  Especially study the Top Level Domain Suffix:

.org (organization)         .gov (government )       .mil (military)      .edu (education)         

Scrutinize/be "wary" of webpages that you retrieve that have the following Top-Level Domains for school projects:

.com (commercial)       .net (network)    

Website, Webpage * WWW: Definitions

(Definition adapted from

WEBSITE = "A Web site is a related collection of World Wide Web (WWW) files that includes a beginning file called a home page. A company or an individual tells you how to get to their Web site by giving you the address of their home page. From the home page, you can get to all the other pages on their site".                                                     (from:


"Please note that a Webpage is not the same thing as a Website. A Website is a collection of pages. A Webpage is an individual HTML document. This is a good distinction to know, as most techies have little tolerance for people who mix up the two terms."


**ALSO: every web page has its own unique URL ( Uniform Resource Locator) or web address


Finding Parts of a Website for Citations

MLA Webpage/Web Article Citations REQUIRE

URL (copy from browser)

Date updated/published

Author's Name (if given)

Title of Webpage Read

Title of Website Hosting Webpage

Name of Publisher/Organization


GROUP WORK: Academic or Non-Academic?

In-Class/Homework Assignment: Evaluating Webpages

1) Open the link to the assigned webpage for your group.

2) Examine the homepage carefully with your partner using the A-B-C-D-E criteria for scholarly webpages

3) Determine if it IS or IS NOT a scholarly webpage/website. Explain by checking  the A-B-C-D-E criteria on your sheet

    ___Authority     ___Bias     ___Currency     ___Design     ___Excellent Fit

60Second Warning

Sixty (60) second music warning - return to seat ready to work/share

"One Minute More" Capital Cities/SwedaMusic

Website Evaluation as Simple as A-B-C-D-E!


Authority – Site lists the author credentials and has a preferable domain (ex. .gov, .edu).

Bias -  Site provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective/not biased in presenting the information.

Currency – Site is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date.

Design – Site is professional, easy to navigate and free from spelling/grammatical errors.


Excellent Fit - Content of site matches your research question


Website citations require that the Author/webmaster, sponsoring organization, and update info. which is usually located on the homepage or "About Us" tab

 control site/domain

.edu    .org   or  .gov


Best Gateways/Web Directories to Begin Your Search for Academic Websites

 LSA Library Guide's Website's Page

Google Advanced Search (Can Control for type of site/domain!)

REVIEW: Terms & Concepts

Webpage (parts of)

Top-Level Domains (.gov; .edu; .org; .com; .net)


A-B-C-D-E Evaluation Criteria

Academic/scholarly Website


Small Group Discussion Speaking Practices

1. ONE person speaks at a time

2. Everyone takes notes (You could be the "Reporter")!

3. Getting and making clarification:  Try these sentence starters:

     * Could you explain that again in different words

     * I'm not following you

     * I respectfully disagree, because  . . . 

     * I see things differently

      * I agree, because

     * I wonder if, . . .

      * I'd like to finish my thought,

      * Could you give an example, What evidence are you thinking about?

     * Do I hear you saying that . . .

      * We seem to be on the same page

     * Overall,  I think . . . 

Consider! Your Research Topic

Please choose from the following four topics:

Autonomous Cars

Digital Addiction


Digital Privacy