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Library 101 For Students: Websites

A short introduction to the CCBC Libraries

Evaluating Websites

How can you decide whether to use a website or not?

Ask yourself the following questions

And then decide if the website is a great resource or not.

Currency
How recent is the information?
How recently has the website been updated?
Is it current enough for your topic?

Relevancy/Reliability
What kind of information is included in the resource?
Does it provide information valuable to your research topic?
Is content of the resource primarily opinion?  Is it balanced?
Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
Are there advertisements on the website?

Authority
Who is the creator or author? What are their credentials?
Who is the publisher or sponsor? Are they reputable?
What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?

Purpose/Point of View
Is this fact or opinion?
Is it biased?
Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Evaluation Tutorial

Websites

Finding material on the Web through Google or Yahoo! is easy. Maybe a little too easy.

Remember that anyone can make a web page and say anything on it that they like.

This is why evaluating what you find on the web is so important. If you are using information in your paper, or even in your life, you want to make sure that  information is correct.

In the box to the left is a list of questions to ask yourself when you encounter a website to determine its quality. In the box on the right is a list of good searching tools to help you find those great websites.

Evaluating Websites

Academic Websites

Consider using Google's advanced search by adding "site:.gov" or "site:.edu" to limit your searches to websites with government or educational domains. 

Alternatively, use Google Scholar to find articles and other information not typically found in a standard Google search -- it  finds relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Websites

Below are some great websites to help get you started with college work, writing papers, doing research.