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Evaluating Internet Sources

Library book sources vs. Internet sources

The book collection at Ross High School was chosen by a library media specialist and teachers to support the curriculum at our school and students can have confidence in the credibility and usefulness of this information.

In contrast, it is difficult to judge the usefulness of information on the Internet. Information on the Internet may be biased/opinionated, out-of-date, or inaccurate. It is up to you to determine what information will best suit your research needs.

University of California Berkeley's "Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial" provides techniques to evaluate Web pages.

These three sources offer advise in judging information.

In Writers INC, (Sebranek, Kemper and Meyer 349) suggest, "keep the following five points in mind when you evaluate the usefulness of a Net source: Is the information (1) reasonable, (2) reliable, (3) accurate, (4) current, and (5) complete?"

MLA Made Easy, Heath advises researchers to:
  • know and understand the differences in URL extensions, such as .com, .gov., .edu., .org
  • distinguish between fact and opinion
  • determine the author's credentials
  • look for currency and use Web sites with up-to-date information
  • determine accuracy of information (29).

In MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: Seventh Edition researchers are advised to:
  • Determine the author and his/her credentials to write about the topic
  • Compare the information with your other research findings
  • Look to see if the author cites his/her sources
  • Use current sources
  • Determine the sponsoring organization of the site (38).
Please view attachment below for a Web page evaluation form.

Jayne Neufarth,
Sep 4, 2011, 3:45 PM