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SOWK 105-01-13977 Introduction to Social Science: Using Internet Resources

This guide is designed to provide information sources for students with research assignments in the class SOWK 105-01-13977


You'll run into some professors who won't let you use websites, or any materials you can get from the web even if they are scholarly, and you'll have some professors who let you use anything. Even if you may be able to use websites for your work, this doesn't mean that you don't have to critique the sites that you use. Because you do. In fact, you should be critical of everything you use while in college.

Below is a very simple list of criteria that you should use when judging a website. The link goes to a really good site that goes into more depth on this process.

Critiquing Websites

Some of your assignments and research papers will require the use of a website - but the information gleaned from websites can't be used thoughtlessly. It must be critiqued.

These are fundamental criteria by which you judge a source of information:

  • Author
  • Date of Publication
  • Edition or Revision
  • Publisher
  • Intended Audience
  • Objective Reasoning
  • Coverage
  • Writing Style

Websites require a second level of scrutiny*:

  • What can the URL tell you?
  • Who wrote the page? Is he, she, or the authoring institution a qualified authority?
  • Is it dated? Current, timely?
  • Is information cited authentic?
  • Does the page have overall integrity and reliability as a source?
  • What's the bias?
  • Could the page or site be ironic, like a satire or a spoof?
  • If you have questions or reservations, how can you satisfy them?

*From Evaluating Webpages: Techniques To Apply & Questions To Ask, produced by the UC Berkeley Libraries. This is a good, comprehensive guide to evaluating websites.

Subject Guide

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Faith Rusk
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