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Info Tech 8: Reliable Online Sources

4. Using Wikipedia to Gain Background Knowledge

5. The C.R.A.A.P. Test

6. Website Evaluation

7. Credible Sources Count Tutorial

Credible Sources Count Tutorial

from Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University

8. Practice Evaluating Websites

Using the Website Evaluation tips you have learned, which site is more credible?

Defend your opinion by referring to the 5 w's or the C.R.A.A.P. test.

The Earth is Round

The Flat Earth Society

Website Evaluation Tips

Become familiar with a variety of website evaluation tips.

These tips should become second nature when you are surfing the internet and looking at websites.

5 W's of Website Evaluation

WHO created the message? (look for “about us” info) Are they experts?
WHAT is the purpose of the site? What does the site look like? (poor layout, grammar errors, lots of advertising, familiar templates, etc can all be red flags, but just because a site looks good doesn’t mean it’s expert) 
WHEN was the information created? (top and bottom of page. Copyright year doesn’t count) When was it last updated?
WHERE is the page located? (on a professional organization’s site, blog, wiki, class web site, personal page?) What does the URL tell you about its location?
WHY was this site/page created? (profit? Education? Persuasion? Entertainment? Hidden agendas?)

Website Bias and Indicators

Why should we check the bias of information on a webpage and/or website?

Bias is when a statement reflects a preference or prejudice for or against a person, object, or idea. It occurs when a writer or speaker utilizes a selection of facts, choice of words, and the quality and tone of description, to convey a particular feeling or attitude. Biased information tries to influence or change how you think.

Knowing how to identify & analyze biased information properly is a skill. You should expect bias on webpages that are designed to sell you something. In addition, webpages dedicated to controversial topics are likely to have a bias.

 Questions to keep in mind as you seek indicators of bias:

  • What is the author's political point of view?
  • What does the author stand to gain?
  • Who is paying for the website?
  • Does the author present alternate points of view?

If so, are those views presented objectively?


URLs - Reading a Web Address

The domain name indicates the organization responsible for the site. The top-level domain indicates the type of site.

The most common top-level domains and the type of site they indicate are:

  • com      commercial business or for-profit organizations
  • gov       United States government agencies
  •  Canadian Government agencies
  • edu       educational institutions
  • org        non-profit organizations

In general, .edu and .gov web sites are more reliable than .com web sites.