Judge the validity

Essay by M. KukoyiCollege, UndergraduateA-, September 2007

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It can be very difficult to judge the validity and appropriateness of a particular Web site as a source for an assignment because there is a lot of knowledge and information to be found on the website. There are many great websites available to everyone to use and at the same time there are just as many that are not good at all. Most websites are created with different intentions, may it be innocent or the opposite but were created to do their work of selling something or giving false information. In the UC Berkley Library website “Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask,” they provide a checklist for precautionary measures to ensure that the website you are on is a valid and appropriate source of information when researching.

First, in the search results in the search engine you look at the URLs. Try and find information within the URL to check if it is someone’s personal page, what type of domain, and who published it.

Secondly, once inside the page selected to visit begin by scanning the page looking for links that may describe the sites content and what type of credentials the author of the site or page has. Thirdly, UC Berkley recommends that you,” look for indicators of quality information. Is the sources on the site documented with footnotes or links?” Is the sites information genuine and not incomplete? Make sure that it is not reproduced or altered information. Are there any other links for any other sources on the same subject? Lastly, one needs to check what others have said about this site by simply seeing what other sites link to this page, do a link search in Google or Yahoo, or do a search on the author.

These steps can greatly help you to evaluate the contents of a web page. It isn’t by any means fail proof. There are a lot of web pages out there with inaccurate, malicious, and harmful content, but if you use these techniques it may help you to prevent from going to these types of sites and to visit the ones that are truly helpful and informative.

UC Berkley Library, (2007), Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply &Questions to Ask, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on September 25,2007 from http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html