Evaluating Research Resource Websites

  • Question: 1. When do you use Google?

    “Google is currently the most used search engine… Google alone is not always sufficient, however. Not everything on the Web is fully searchable in Google. Overlap studies show that more than 80% of the pages in a major search engine's database exist only in that database. For this reason, getting a "second opinion" can be worth your time.” Information from University of California Berkeley 


    Question: 2. When do you use Wikipedia?
    When all the rest of the Internet is unavailable and all the books in the library are not available and you can't find a teacher, librarian, or parent to ask. Wikipedia is not a source you will ever use in a worKs cited page (bibliography page) at high school, work, or college. Find out what Wikipedia is and why it appears at the beginning of Google searches. (Hint: Has to do with who pays the most....)

    to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to... Because someday the information that someone else wants to use will be yours".
    Why do your teachers want something called “MLA format”?
    MLA is the abbreviation for Modern Library Association and their form of citing sources is important to know since NHS teachers want your page of sources displayed in MLA form. NHS teachers approve of citation resources like "Citation Machine".

    Question: 4.What is the best source of information on the Internet?
    Pretty much depends on what you need the information for—is it for a paper to turn in to your history teacher, an essay to include with your application to college, to settle an argument with a friend, to find a recipe for spaghetti sauce? YOU will choose the Internet source based on what you will be looking for and for what it will be used.

    • Spend 10 or 15 minutes looking at the site.
    • Does it match what you want to know, study, or discuss?


    Evaluating Internet Sources
    1. Authorship

    Who wrote the site?

    What are the author’s credentials?

    Is the web information within the author’s specialty?

    2.Publishing body

    Is this an official organizational site or a personal web page?

    Is the sponsoring organization credible?

    3. Content

    What is the purpose of the web page?

    Is there evidence of bias?

    What is the source and date of the information?

    4. Context of the work

    Does the site include a bibliography?

    5. Accuracy of credibility

    What are some of the links listed at the site?

    6. Source

    What is the full URL address?

    7. Scope

    What is the depth of the context (i.e. number of pages)?


    ONLINE Guide to evaluating Internet sources:

    Click on Web Research and then on Web Evaluation


    Adapted from Clayton High School, NC