Evaluating Websites to determine their value for information to be included in your college research papers

by Richard Gordon

Last update March 25, 2006

  1. How did you find this source -- through the college library website or just through a search engine like Google or Yahoo?
  2. Can you determine who the author is?
  3. Can you contact the author for additional information?
  4. Can you determine the credentials of the author? What makes him/her appear to have the background to be considered an expert on the subject of the website?
  5. Is this an .edu or .gov or a .com site?
  6. Does it have advertising?
  7. Do the links in the site work?
  8. Is the site trying to get you to purchase something?
  9. By cutting back on the website address, can you determine if the website is affiliated with a reputable organization, college or university?
  10. Is the article clearly written, well organized, and free of spelling or grammar mistakes?
  11. Is the website current -- up-to-date -- especially when it discusses a subject that demands the latest information?
  12. Is there evidence that the author is biased or prejudiced either for or against the subject being written about?
  13. Does the author give sources for his information?
  14. Can controversial statements be supported by evidence on other reputable sites?
  15. Can you tell what city and nation the article originates?