Source Evaluation

Evaluating Sources of Information

interactive rubric button

Not all internet sites are reliable or accurate. Some sites have been created by people who have no accountability, some by people who have a clear bias, even some by very young students. On the web, anyone can publish information. Therefore, it is important to think critically about the web sites that you locate in your research. Listed below are some questions to ask as you evaluate the site and a reminder to be a responsible user of the Internet.

Currency (dates)

  • When was the information created? Revised?
  • Is the topic something that currency is important for?
    • Science, Tech and Health information should be <3 year="" old="" span="">
    • You can be more flexible with historical, literary, or biographical information

Reliability (trust)

  • Is the information clearly written, free of errors (spelling, grammar)?
  • Can you tell where the author got his/her information? (sources, links, notes?)
  • Does the information have depth? or is it merely superficial?
  • To the best of your knowledge, is the information ACCURATE (correct)?

Authority (author)

  • Who wrote the information?
    • Companies can be authors, like “National Geographic”
  • Is the author an expert in the subject they are writing about?
  • Is there an email address to contact the author?
  • webmaster ≠ author

Purpose (why)

  • What is the point of the source?
  • Do they make or sell something?
  • Is it a personal page?
  • An educational or government page?
  • Does it use emotional language?
  • Are both sides of the subject offered?

Special Note: Internet Ethics

  • Have you cited all information that you got from the site?
  • Did you give credit to the authors or organizations who published the site?
  • Did you request permission to link someone else's site to your own?
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.