Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Communication 103

Evaluating Websites

 

The web is a great information resource. Because there is so much information you can usually find some information on your topic, however, because anyone can put anything on the web, you need to be very careful when using the web as a research source.

Check out the faculty recommended websites at the bottom of the page if you are unsure where to start. If you decide to search the web for sources, use the following checklist to help you to determine the reliability of the information you find on a website:

 

checkACCURACY

  • Is the information reliable and correct?
  • Is there an editor who verifies the information?

AUTHORITY

  • Is there an author? What are his or her qualifications?
  • What is the sponsoring organization? Is it reputable?

Hint: Look for links providing information about the author and his or her e-mail address. Check for "about us," "philosophy," etc. for information about the organization.

checkOBJECTIVITY

  • Does the website show a bias?
  • Is there advertising on the page? 
  • What is the purpose of the site? To sell, to inform, to persuade?

CURRENCY

  • Does the site include the dates it was created and updated?
  • How current are the links? Have any expired or moved?

Consider if currency is especially important for the research topic.

checkCOVERAGE

  • How does the site compare with other sites on this topic?
  • Is material covered in depth rather than superficially?

Evaluating Sources: Video

Check out this video on Evaluating Sources (click image to open):

Choosing the Best Web Source

Check out this Tutorial on Choosing the Best Web Source (click image to open):

Faculty Recommended Websites