Evaluating Websites

All books in our school library have been carefully selected based on reviews by professionals who evaluate content, format, viewpoint, readability and appropriateness for age of audience.  In contrast, anyone can create a web site.  As a thorough and reliable researcher, it is your responsibility to evaluate the reliability and truth of the information you find on the internet, unless you use electronic databases or web sites screened and recommended by teachers or other educators. (You can find such resources through our Middle School library catalog.)  If you choose to use search engines, such as GOOGLE, be sure to ask the following questions:

Ask the 5 w's:
  • Who?  Who is the author of this website?  Is he/she an expert?  Find out more about the author.  (Is there a biography of the author on the site?)  Can I trust the information?
  • What?  What is the purpose of the site?  Is there a "hidden agenda"?  Is the author motivated to convince you of something other than the truth?  Is the site educational, or is it designed to sell you something, etc.
  • When?  When was the site created?  When was it last updated?  Is the content up to date?
  • Where?  Where does the information come from?  What organization(s) and/or institution(s) provided information?  Find out more about the producer or sponsor if you're not familiar with their work.
  • Why?  Why should I use this information?  Why is this site better than others?

Spend a few minutes searching one or more of the following sites.  Try to answer the 5 w's about the sites.

California's Velcro Crop under Challenge

Republic of Molossia

The DogIsland

The History of Robots in the Victorian Era