Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Contemporary Issues: Find Websites

Evaluating Web Resources

Guidelines for evaluating websites.

Purpose

  • Why was this source created? 
  •  What audience was it created for?
  •  Is it scholarly or popular? Does this matter?

Authority

  • Who is the author? A person? A corporation?
  • What are the author's qualifications for writing on this subject?

Timeliness

  • Is there a date?
  •  When was the content last updated?

Scope

  • Does it give too much or too little information?
  • How specific is the information provided?

Download Guides

Download and/or print off source evaluation guides here:

Google Search Tips

When searching online using search engines like Google, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming, and the vast majority of what you find will not be helpful to you for the purposes of academic research.  Wading through all the bad information to find the good is not feasible.  Use [site:]  to target information you know will be useful to you by specifying which website or type of website you're interested in exploring.

For example, if I wanted to access information on US trade policy from government websites, you would type: 

[US trade policy site:.gov]

If you wanted to look for information specifically from the White House, you can specify an entire website:

[US trade policy site:whitehouse.gov]

This works for newspapers, as well.

[US trade policy site:nytimes.com]

If you want to look at government information regarding Brexit, then you would use

[site:.gov.uk]

Embed from Getty Images

Ask a Librarian