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SUBJECT LIBGUIDE: EVALUATING RESOURCES: Evaluating a Website

Asking questions when reviewing websites 2

What is the content?

  • Is the page organized?
  • Are their grammar errors?
  • What language is being used?
  • Are the links relevant and appropriate?
  • Is the content biased (liberal, conservative, association/advocacy groups, businesses, etc.?
  • Questions such as these look at the content to allow the reader to evaluate if it is a reputable source?
  • These are a few questions readers need to ask.

How old is the content?

  • When was the website updated?
  • When was the website revised?
  • Do any links used in content lead to working pages or unavailable pages?

Relevance

  • Is the webpage up to date with current research?
  • Is it useful?
  • Does it support or argue against an argument or main point of the page?
  • Does it support arguments with evidence?
  • Does it provide information that can be challenged and provide partial information?

Asking questions when reviewing websites

What is the purpose?

  • Informing the reader: What is being informed?
  • Entertaining the reader: Is this meant for entertainment purposes?
  • Sharing information with the reader: What does the author share with the reader?
  • Advertising/selling: Is the author trying to sell a product, service or similar concept?
  • Advocacy: Is the author trying to influence views, beliefs, elections, pros/cons and more?
  • Recruitment: Is the author trying to encourage membership?
  • Current news & information: Is the reader providing updates such as sports, events, tv, news, etc.?
  • Questions such as these address the purpose of the page. The reader evaluates the author's purpose of the source?
  • These are some examples of types of purposes authors present in articles.

Who is the Author?

  • Is the author a government agency?
  • Is the author a higher education institution?
  • Is the author a business?
  • Is the author an association?
  • Is the author a news source?
  • Is the author an individual?
  • Is the author anonymous?

What is the background of the author?

  • Is there information on the author's background and can it be verified?
  • Is the author qualified to speak on the subject being written?
  • Questions such as these addresses if the content is correct or biased?