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Evaluating

What about Google?

What would we do without Google (or your favorite search engine)?

  • We supply search terms and search engines help us find information among the billions of webpages on the internet.
  • Results most relevant to our search terms are listed at or near the top.
  • Most of us don't look beyond the first page of results--and there may be hundreds of millions of results returned from a search!
  • The best website for our needs may be on the 25th page of results, but we're not going to see it.

Google has emerged as the most widely used search engine

  • Yes, it has a place in academic research. If your instructor allows you to use websites in your paper, the responsibility of evaluating websites for their suitability for use in academic writing lies with you.

Critically evaluate each website and question the following:

Authority - Is the website based on reputable and reliable sources? Is there a bibilography?  Are there citations?  Is the author of the website an expert on this subject?  

Objectivity - Is the website free of bias?    Who is responsible for the website? Are you getting an educated version of this topic, or is it just opinion?

Currency - Has the page been updated recently enough so that it reflects the most current data? Is there a date to indicate that this page is regularly evaluated and maintained?

Coverage - Does the website have valid information on the topic?  Is it free of typos and errors?  Does the page have a professional look and free of advertising? Are there links to other worthwhile websites?