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Teen Program: Find Good Websites

This guide will give you tips to help you with your research assignments, and it will provide links to sources of information.


The purpose of this guide is to

  • Provide you with tips for doing better Google searches
  • Give you guidelines for judging the credibility of websites
  • Encourage you to go beyond Google and use a variety of sources
  • Point out what Wikipedia is best for
  • Explain what library databases are and how to use them
  • Provide you with suggested resources and links to them

Look at some resources that your Library makes available to you:

Google Searching Tips

Put phrases in quotes (Examples: "identity theft" & "genetically modified food")

Be specific. The more words you add, the more relevant your search will be. (Example: autism environmental causes)

Look for sites that end in .edu, .gov, and .org. These are usually more reliable than .com sites. (Sample search: “human trafficking” site:gov)

Use a minus sign to exclude terms from your search. (Example: salmon -recipes)

C.R.A.P. Test

You provide the quality control for the information you find on the Web, so remember to apply this test when you evaluate websites:

C=Currency     (How recent is the information? When was the site last updated?)

R=Reliability    (Is the content balanced or biased? Are sources or references provided?) 

A=Authority     (Who is the author/sponsor? Are credentials & contact info available?)

P=Purpose       (What is the intent of the site—to provide accurate info or sell something?)


What the CRAP?

Look at the following PowerPoint slide show for an explanation of the CRAP test used to evaluate websites.

After viewing the PowerPoint slides take a look at the two websites listed below that provide information on ADHD. Which website do you think is a better source for a research paper?


Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, can be a good place to start your research for

  • quick facts and definitions
  • an overview of a topic 
  • links to websites and other sources of information.

Always consult other, more reliable sources.

Most instructors don’t want you to cite Wikipedia in a research paper.


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The content of these guides, unless otherwise noted, by Kirk Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.