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ENC 1101 - College Composition I, Prof. Rivers: Websites

Finding Good Websites

It is easy to jump on the Web and search for just about anything.  Just remember, that anyone can put anything on the Internet.  Be a picky shopper when you are searching.  If you could buy any car in the world, would you buy a Benz? a Corvette? a Festiva?

How do you know what is "good".  Part of that depends on what you need, but in general, if you look carefully at the site you should be able to determine: the source or author, the source's or author's credentials, when the information was created/updated, and why this information was created.

How do you find web sites?  Most people use a search engine, a meta-search or a directory.  If you are unfamiliar with searching, take a few minutes to go through one of the search engine tutorials - even if you are familiar with search engines you might find that you learn something new. 

Try the Google basic search tutorial --

Using the Advanced Search available on most search engines allows you to limit your search to domains more likely to have valuable information.  Websites that end in .edu, .org, and .gov are educational, organizational or governmental and generally speaking are not trying to sell you something like a .com.

What about using Wikipedia?

Wikipedia can be very useful for for getting general background information to get you started and can even give you some clues on where where to look for more information by checking their bibliography.  You may not use Wikipedia as a resource since you cannot assume that the author of the article is an expert -- it could be your next door neighbor, Ralph.

How do you know if a source is credible? 

Evaluating sources isn't always easy. You can use the SIFT or CRAAP acronyms to remember ways to help identify reputable quality sources,... or at least the likelihood a source probably is (or is not) reputable. 


SIFT (Stop, Investigate, Find, Trace) - Mike Caulfield

Evaluating Sources - CRAAP

Online Verification Skills

Part 1 -  2 min. 44 sec.

Part 2 - 4 min. 10 sec.

Catalog and Database Search

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