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Dyson College of Arts and Sciences


(Busiel and Maeglin):

“Browsing the WWW allows users to access and download files at a site, examine and explore broad topic categories, and perform a multitude of keyword searches. Browsing is a crucial tool for research. It uncovers excellent material on an unlimited range of subjects. It can teach valuable research skills, such as narrowing a topic, evaluating source material, and incorporating online research effectively into essay writing.”

Evaluating and Citing Internet Sources (Linda Anstendig)

The World Wide Web provides an amazing amount of information and resources for research; however, you need to be able to think critically about each site’s value, usefulness and reliability. Please apply the following criteria to any source you find. Don’t forget to cite each source correctly.

  1. Does the site have credibility-Who is the author What are his or her credentials or institutional affiliation Is this a primary source Secondary source Combination of primary and secondary source Is the site linked to others Do the links work What category does the site fit into .edu (educational); .org (non-profit organization); .com (for commercial or for-profit group)
  2. How objective is the site and the information presented What is the purpose of the site What kind of evidence is given Is there hard data What is the tone (matter-of-fact, serious, humorous, sarcastic) How much analysis is apparent How much is based on opinion or generalizations How much bias is shown
  3. How timely is the site What dates are given Is the site up-dated How current is the information
  4. How big a role does graphics play What is the ratio of text to graphics How commercial is the site How effective are the images in conveying meaning and tone
  5. Summary: Always check the site for the following: author, title, date, source of information, intention.
  6. Rule of thumb for citing sources-Include the following information and check your up-dated MLA or APA manuals(they may be online): author’s name, title of work, date of publication or creation of information, online address, (date the source was accessed)
    e.g., Grassian, Esther. “Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources.”December 3,1996. (29 Oct 1997)
  7. Citing online source with print equivalent: Give basic information as in regular citation. Then list the name of the database, and, if possible, date accessed.
    e.g., Jones, Sarah. “Insanity as a Defense” New Republic 15 Oct. 1997. Extended Academic ASAP 1 Nov. 1997.


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