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Evaluating Sources and Information


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How to evaluate sources of information, especially websites. Created for use with high school students.

How to evaluate sources of information, especially websites. Created for use with high school students.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • Great job! I'd like to use this in my seventh grade computers class for a reliability/internet unit.
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  • 1. Evaluating Sources and Information
    by Sue Heraper
    Teacher Librarian
    Newbury Park High School
  • 2. Things to think about as you decide whether or not a source is reliable…
  • 3. How current is the material?
    What experience does the author have?
    Who published the material?
  • 4. Who?
  • 5. Authority is being an expert on a particular subject.
  • 6. What?
  • 7. Coverage is the extent of the subject matter.
  • 8. Why?
  • 9. Objectivity is a lack of bias or prejudice.
  • 10. When?
  • 11. Currency means contemporary, up-to-date
  • 12. How?
  • 13. Accuracy
    in every detail, precision and exactness
  • 14. Should you ever cite Wikipedia in a paper for class?
  • 15. Should you ever cite Wikipedia in a paper for class?
  • 16. Wait, wait! Wikipedia can still help you in your research!
  • 17. Background information
  • 18. Keywords
  • 19. Links
  • 20. References
  • 21. Consider these scenarios
  • 22. 1.You are researching the rain forest.
  • 23. Which sentence demonstrates the author’s opinion about the topic rather than fact?
    1. People around the world have become more aware of rain forest destruction.
    2. Species are becoming endangered due to habitat destruction in the rain forest.
    3. People should be willing to give money to help save the rain forests.
    4. Deforestation hurts the environment
  • 24. “People should be willing to give money to help save the rain forests” is an opinion, not a fact.
  • 25. 2. You have located websites on the negative effects of drugs on teenagers.
  • 26. Which site would best meet your information need?
    1. -- A 24-hour addiction hotline in your community
    2. -- Describes how illegal drugs affect the teen brain
    3. -- Explains how to say “no” to drugs at a party
    4. Provides help for parents with troubled teens
  • 27.
  • 28. 3. You need
    to find information
    for a school project and one source must be a
    Web page.
  • 29. Which question will NOT help you evaluate the sites?
    1. Who is the author of the information?
    2. How many people use the site?
    3. When was the site last updated?
    4. Is the author an expert on the subject?
  • 30. “How many people use the site?” does not help you evaluate the authority or currency of a site.
  • 31. 4. You are looking for current information about Pluto
    and why it is no longer a planet.
  • 32. Which source below offers the most current information?
    1.— a website created by the National Air and Space Administration that is updated daily
    2. Our Stars and Planets—a book written by A.J. Wright with a copyright date of 1996
    3. “Pluto”— an entry in World Book Encyclopedia dated 2000
    4. “Moon or Planet”— an article in the July 2008 issue of Scientific American magazine
  • 33.
  • 34. 5. You are writing a paper on toy safety.
  • 35. Which website is most likely to have the least biased information?
    1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    2. Mattel, Inc.
    3. Toy Manufacturers Association
    4. Toys “R” Us
  • 36.
  • 37. 6. You are researching healthy eating.
  • 38. Which website would be the most appropriate resource to locate information?
    1. -- A site that helps you set up a diet plan for weight loss
    2. -- Department of Agriculture website that gives tips for healthy eating
    3. -- A site created by Ms. Jon’s 3rd grade class about the food pyramid
    4. -- A site that covers recent fad diets
  • 39.
  • 40. 7. You read on the Web that Mad Cow Disease may have been found in the United States.
  • 41. How might you best determine the truth of this statement?
    1. Check the website for information the government might not release to the public.
    2. Search for "Mad Cow Disease" on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
    3. Look up the topic on the website from the American Council on Beef
    4. Discuss the news with friends who might have heard about Mad Cow Disease.