Evaluating Information on the Web

evaluating information on the web at the
end of this short tutorial you ‘ll have an understanding of the importance of
checking the quality and accuracy of web-based information you’ll be able to use
the five key criteria needed to assess web pages in a world of so much choice how do you make the right decisions when
evaluating websites here are five criteria to consider number one authority can you clearly identify
the author or source of the information is the organization or institution a
credible source and is sponsorship evident
look for an about us or who we are link ask what is the affiliation of the
author or authors to the organization company or institution the inclusion of corporate sponsorship with the
information could potentially lead to bias number two accuracy
you need to ensure that the information is reliable and error-free ask is the author
qualified to write about the topic is the information on the website correct
here’s an example of an elaborate Wikipedia hoax that fooled the website for
five years can you verify the information on the website in an
academic source try looking in an academic book or peer-reviewed journal
you can cross-check the information using Google advanced search in Google you the results will help you verify the
information if the author qualified the topic
take this example of a website on male pregnancy the author is actually an
artist and the technical information on website cannot be supported so would you
use this to support an argument in an essay number three objectivity what is the purpose of the site is it to persuade promote
inform or sell the letters at the end of the web address will give you a clue as to
the kind of website for example .com commercial
.edu educational .org nonprofit organization number four content is the level of detail suitable
for your needs is the content well presented and professional is it
comprehensive You should compare different sites on the same topic
for example here are two different websites addressing the subject of life
satisfaction number five currency is it clear that the
content is up to date does the site display the most recent revision are the links working
does the website display when it was last updated be aware if you find dead links on the
website finally consider this example It is the top
search on Google if you search for pro death penalty so on the surface everything looks official
and well presented now apply all five criteria
you’ll find lots of flaws for example there are no author credentials listed there are numerous dead links much of the information included is
outdated this does not mean there is no credible information to support the use of
the death penalty there are too many flaws with this website to use it to
support your argument you will find our full suite of tutorials at the
following URL you can also email feedback to the following [email protected] thank you

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