The Real Thing? Evaluating Websites


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The Real Thing? Evaluating Websites

  1. 1. When I receive information, I usually. . . •assume the author is an expert. •accept that the information is true. OR do I . . . consult a credible source to verify the author’s claims/facts.
  2. 2. A statement of fact can be proven by credible evidence. Personal opinion: Statement of belief or feeling. It shows one's feelings about a subject
  3. 3. Know Your Personal Biases Do I tend to look at things as either: “right/wrong” OR “good/bad” ?
  4. 4. Know Your Personal Biases •Insecurity •Fear •Ignorance •Peer/Family influence
  5. 5. How to Know a Reliable Site • What type of website is it? • Who is behind the website? • Is the information supported with verifiable evidence?
  6. 6. What type of website? •promoting an opinion or political agenda •selling a service or product •offering tips/advice •blogs •governmental •scholarly article •Wikipedia-type site
  7. 7. Top Level Domains •Products, Services, Ideas, Agendas (.org, .com) •Non-profits (.org, .edu) •Scholarly/educational (.edu, .org) •Popular press (.com, .org) •Governmental (.gov, .mil) •Personal (.com, .edu, .net)
  8. 8. Author: Who’s Behind the Website? Who pays for the site? Who maintains the site? Who writes the information?
  9. 9. Check to see if site provides an identifying link: “About Us” “Who We Are” “Mission Statement”
  10. 10. Definition: credentials: the education, work, or other experience that qualifies an individual to address a particular topic.
  11. 11. Do You Want Friend or an Expert?
  12. 12. Reliable site: an authoritative, balanced, and accurate source whose claims can be verified. Definition:
  13. 13. Definition: to verify: to determine the accuracy of a statement, fact, or statistic
  14. 14. Unsupported Statements Student’s claim: According to, Americans spent $12 billion on cosmetic surgery ( Cited source:
  15. 15. Supported Statements Revised claim: “In 2005, Americans spent approximately $8 billion on surgeons’ fees for cosmetic medical treatments (ASAPS, 2006).” Cited source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank—2005 Statistics. New York, NY: ASAPS, 2006.
  16. 16. Supported Statements Student discovered statistical source in the following article: Sarwer, D. “Physical Appearance & Cosmetic Medical Treatments: Socio-Cultural Influences.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2 (2006): 29-39.
  17. 17. Verifying Sources Check credentials of author: Listed in library databases? Academic Search Elite
  18. 18. Reliability of Author: Credentials Is author the subject of internet chatter? Google the author’s name
  19. 19. How to Tell a Reliable Site • What type of website is it? • Who is behind the website? • Is the information supported with verifiable evidence?
  20. 20. Sorting Personal Opinions from Factual Statements