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ATYP: Conspiracy Theories Assignment

Evaluating Websites

Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages provides further guidance for evaluating the quality of Web information.

1. Domain
Check the domain in the URL. For example, .com is a commercial site the may be selling a product or service, .edu is associated with a college or university in some way (you need to determine if this is a student-generated document, faculty, department, other), .gov indicates a government entity as author.

2. Creator/Author
Are there qualifications listed for the person or organization authoring the site and if so, do they seem reputable?

3. Purpose
Recognize if the author seems to have a bias on the topic of some kind. Is second hand factual knowledge backed up by reputable references or links?

4. Time Period
Determine how current the information is from dates given and any website updates indicated.

5. Level of Coverage
Is the information given very brief or is it well thought out and includes detail, with working links to additional good resources?

Tutorial on Evaluating Websites from David L. Rice Library