Evaluating sources
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Evaluating Sources. Finding Credible Websites. Online Research Strategies. The internet is a BIG place full of a ton of information. Some of it will be useful; however, most of it, will not. What should you be on the lookout for?

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Evaluating Sources

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Evaluating sources

Evaluating Sources

Finding Credible Websites


Online research strategies

Online Research Strategies

  • The internet is a BIG place full of a ton of information. Some of it will be useful; however, most of it, will not.

  • What should you be on the lookout for?

  • The following slides will outline the 4 criteria that you will need to utilize in order to judge whether or not your source is reliable.

    • Authority

    • Accuracy

    • Objectivity

    • Currency


Authority

Authority

  • Who is the author, and what are his or her qualifications?

  • Why should you trust them?

    • Trust established sources, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica’s or the Library of Congress’s Web site, but not an individual’s home page or personal blog.

    • Wikipedia is not an established source, and should not be used.


Accuracy

Accuracy

  • Is the information reliable?

  • Does the author cite sources for his/her information?

    • Check information from one site against information from two other sites or print sources, especially if it seems difficult to believe.


Objectivity

Objectivity

  • What is the author’s bias, or perspective?

    • Does the provider of the information have a hidden motive or a special interest?

    • Could they be making money off of this information?

    • Do they obviously have a strong political affiliation?

      • You don’t have to discard information from sources that do, but you should the bias into consideration.


Currency

Currency

  • How current is the information?

    • At the bottom of the site’s home page, look for the date on which the page was created or revised.

    • If you need current information, reject dated sources. Some dated material will no longer be relevant to your argument.


Top level domain names

Top Level Domain Names

  • What comes after the URL and should you trust that site?

  • .edu

    • Educational institution.

    • Site may publish scholarly work or the work of elementary, high school or college students. These institutions generally have reputations they need to uphold and publish accurate information.

      • Ex: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/which-plants-will-survive-droughts-231567.aspx


Top level domain names1

Top Level Domain Names

  • .gov

    • Government body website.

    • Information should be reliable.

      • Often involves statistics, data, census information, etc.

      • Ex: www.hhs.gov(Health and Human Services); www.stopbullying.gov

  • .org

    • Usually a non-profit organization.

    • If the organization promotes culture (such as a museum), information should be reliable; if it advocates a cause, information may be biased and you’ll need to use your judgment to determine if information is reliable.

      • Ex: PBS.org (reliable); www.nationformarriage.org (very political—information likely to be biased)


Top level domain names2

Top Level Domain Names

  • .org

    • Usually a non-profit organization.

    • If the organization promotes culture (such as a museum), information should be reliable; if it advocates a cause, information may be biased and you’ll need to use your judgment to determine if information is reliable.

      • Ex: PBS.org (reliable); www.nationformarriage.org (very political—information likely to be biased)

  • .com

    • Commercial enterprise (they are selling something). Information should be evaluated carefully.

  • .net

    • Organization offering Internet services. Information should be evaluated carefully.


Good bets start your search here

Good Bets: Start your search here!

  • Google Scholar:

    • www.googlescholar.com

    • When you get your results from your search, you will need to check to make sure there is a full copy of the text. Search for “Full Text Articles” (this will not always be an option.

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context: click link in Sharepoint

    • Click on student services, a search box will appear on the right.

    • If you access from home, the password is “orange”

  • CSULB will now allow students access to their Media and Print collections by showing OCSA ID.  In addition, students can access many of their research databases by going to this link http://csulb.libguides.com/freedatabases

    • Students also now have access to CSU Fullerton, and UC Irvine Libraries. See me for more details.


Good bets start your search here1

Good Bets: Start your search here!

  • Solid reliable sources:

    • Newspapers with online archives:

      • The New York Times

      • The Los Angeles Times

      • The Chicago Tribune

    • Magazines with online archives:

      • Time Magazine

    • Website:

      • Education Week (www.edweek.org)


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