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ENG 023 - Leonard: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

Finding and Evaluating Web Sites

The amount of information available on the WWW is immeasurable. Unfortunately much of this information has not been reviewed for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, nor completeness.  The burden of evaluation falls on you, the reader.


  • Is it clear who is responsible for the Web page?
  • Is it clear who wrote the material?  Are their credentials clearly stated?
  • If the material is copyrighted, is the name of the copyright holder given?


  • Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so that verification is possible?
  • Are you able to confirm the facts in other sources?
  • Is the information clear of blatant grammatical, spelling and/or other typographical errors?
  • If there are graphs or charts, are they clearly labeled?  Is source information given?


  • What is the purpose of providing the information?  Public service, education, profit, or persuasion?
  • Is the information free of advertising?
  • If there is advertising, is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?


  • Are there dates on the page indicating when it was written or last revised?
  • Are there indications that the material is kept current?

(These criteria based on checklists in the book Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate)


Other Evaluation Tools