It Looks Promising But…
Often in our wanderings through cyberspace we find articles and websites that look promising for an assignment, but there’s a nagging little voice inside our heads saying, “Hmm… is this website legit, is this info correct, gosh… I hope this is true but I’m just not sure…” Here are some pointers to help you decide if something is worthy enough to include in your assignment or IMP.
- Does the site have an author’s name (personal or institutional)
- Is there any contact information for the site?
- Does the article have a date?
- Is it prominent and easy to find?
- Avoid dates found in website footers (these are often embedded code, which automatically revise the date).
- Look for one of these: reference list, bibliography, Works Cited, or Endnotes
- Do links work? And what do links link to?
- Scan for in-text citations or footnotes.
Does the domain URL address end in .edu or .gov? Only educational and government organizations can use these domains, making these site more “legit” in their information.
Looks do count. A well designed website makes finding information easy. It should be easy for you to navigate a website.
Poor spelling and bad grammar are a no-no. Credible sites pay attention to writing style.
Can You Make a Citation?
If an author wants to be taken seriously it should be easy for a reader to create a citation of the author’s work. If you are struggling to make a citation, maybe the source is less credible than you initially thought.
How can I tell if a website is credible? These links can help you determine a site’s authenticity:
Rogers, T. (2019, December 4). 8 ways to determine website reliability. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/gauging-website-reliability-2073838
BYU Library. (2021, March 2). Step-by-Step guide & research rescue: Evaluating credibility. Brigham Young University. https://guides.lib.byu.edu/stepbystep
Hilliger, L. (n.d.). Legit-O-Meter tip sheet: There are like billions and billions of websites, but not all sites are created equal. https://mozilla.github.io/webmaker-curriculum/WebLiteracyBasics-I/legit-o-meter.html