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Research: A Step-by-Step Guide: Web Search and Evaluation

This guide walks you through the steps of the research process. You'll learn about tools you can use for researching any topic, how to evaluate the sources you find, and how to get help. Especially useful for English 102 students.

Web Search Strategies

Evaluating Websites

Some questions to ask yourself when evaluating a website:

  • Who is the author? If you can’t determine who the author or the publisher is, pass on it.
  • Is it biased? Websites that deal with political or social issues are often one-sided and have a bias. The bias does not mean that it’s bad; however, it’s up to you to see if the point of view is effectively argued and has research to back it up. It’s also up to you to find the opposing view for balance.
  • Is it accurate? Again, look at the claims that are being made and see if there is research to back them up. Be wary of websites that make claims that seem to contradict everything else that you have found.
  • When was it published? If you’re researching a current topic but the website hasn’t been updated in several years, or no date is given, pass on it.

Be Skeptical!

Evaluating Websites