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Evaluating Websites
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There are literally billions of web pages out there, posted by everyone from Stephen Hawking to your best friends' kid brother. You need to look at the information you find on a web page with a critical eye. It really isn't that hard, and if you think about it you probably already do it. For example, if you want to buy a used car, you may ask the opinions of some people you know as to what make and model to get and how much to pay. The opinion of your cousin John who owns a garage is worth more to you than whatever your grandmother says. You have just evaluated some information based on the source.

To evaluate a Website, see if you can find evidence of the following:

  • Is the author or creator listed?
  • Are there any credentials on the author listed?
  • Is contact information for the author available?
  • Date and Currency
  • When was the web page produced or updated?
  • Do the links work, or are they "dead ends"?
  • For the particular subject, does it matter if the information is the latest?
  • If you can't find answers to the above questions, it should raise doubt in your mind about the reliability of the web page and the information it contains.

  • Are political, cultural or other biases evident?
  • Is the purpose of the site to advertise or persuade?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • If the site claims to contain objective information, does it cite any sources?
  • Are all aspects of the topic being discussed presented, or is just one part focused on?
  • Remember: There's a lot of information out there. Use it wisely!