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ENGL 4319 - English in the Secondary Schools

This guide is here to help you find resources that will be helpful for your work in ENGL 4319. This is also where you can access the information we cover in our in class session and give you a refresher in case you forget something!

Evaluating Websites

Evaluating Websites

The quality of content you find online varies. Anyone can post anything on the Web. When evalutating Web material, always be critical.

Consider these criteria when deciding whether to use information from a web source:

  • Authority & Authorship - Is there a clearly defined author of the content, and if so, what are his or her credentials? Is there an "About" section listed on the site? Can the authors be contacted?
  • Bias - Is there a noticeable bias or implicit agenda on the part of the author(s)? Bias can be ok as long as you can identify it and read critically.
  • Relevancy - Is the content current enough to support the claims of the authors? How often is content updated? Is the content pertinent to your research subject?
  • Accuracy - Are the proposed conclusions verifiable from the data presented? Is any data presented? Can fact be adequately separated from opinion? Can you confirm the validity of data presented against another credible source? Are references cited?

Other considerations:

  • What is the domain of the site's URL (.com,.edu,.org,.net,.gov)?
  • Are there numerous broken links across the site?
  • Are there advertisements on the page which may promote an agenda?
  • Does the site rely too heavily on extra, downloadable software?
  • Who is the content written for?

The following guides are helpful when evaluating web resources: