Information for this lesson was borrowed from about.com
How to evaluate a Web Source - Basic Evaluation Checklist
Determine Authority, Truth, and Motivation Before Citing Internet Sources.
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, most likely this is not a source you want to include in your bibliography.
Let's move on to the next level of criteria, which is judging the truthfulness of the information presented.
Are You Telling Me The Truth?
Eventually while you are on the Web, you will run into information that is not entirely true. In addition, to determine the authority of a site, you also need to figure out if it is presenting accurate information. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Once again, if you are not satisfied with the answers to these questions, then you should find another Web source. the next step in evaluating a site's credibility is impartiality, or figuring out what is behind the message.
Are You Selling Me Something?
Say for instance you are researching power motor accidents. Information from the power motor industry would not necessarily be the most neutral of information sources. So, in order to find a non-biased information source, you will need to determine neutrality. Ask yourself these questions:
You should be able to figure out from the site address who the site belongs to, since most organizations and businesses put their name in the URL. This is a good way to determine quickly if the site is legitimate for your purposes; for example, if you are researching mad cow disease you probably do not want information from the Beef Farmer's of America.
If the answers to these questions raise doubts in your mind about the site's integrity, then you will need to reconsider the Web site as a credible source. Any site that has an inappropriate bias or a hazy line between the advertisements and the content is NOT a good site to use in a research paper or academic project.
Evaluating Sources on the Web
Use common sense when considering a Web site for inclusion in your research project or academic paper. Just because something made its way on to the Web absolutely does not mean that it's credible, reliable, or even true. Believe me; professors DO check your bibliographies and if they find a source that does not meet these standards, you will have to re-do all of your hard work . It is absolutely essential that you put any Web site through the evaluation hoops mentioned above before you site it as a source.
Using a research topic of your choice- make it a subject you are interested in- find three websites that contain information on your topic. For each site, evaluate the homepage and website information - being sure to answer the following elements in your evaluation:
Once you have compiled all the information from the three sites, use the lesson 1 rubric to evaluate each site.
Please click on the attachment below to download a printable version of this lesson and rubric.