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ENG 023 - McClure: Evaluating Sources

Using the CARS Checklist to Evaluate Web Sites

A Website that is Credible, Accurate, Reasonable, and Supported (CARS) should meet the following criteria:

Credibility

  • The Source is trustworthy; you would consider a print version to be authoritative.
  • The argument and use of evidence are clear and logical.
  • The author's or sponsor's credentials are available.
  • Quality control is evident.
  • The source is known or respected authority; it has organizational support.

Accuracy

  • The site is updated frequently, if not daily.
  • The site provides evidence for its assertions.
  • The site is detailed; text appears in full paragraphs.
  • The site is comprehensive, including archives, links, and additional resources.  A search feature and table of contents or tabs allow you to quickly find the information you need.
  • The site's purpose includes completeness and accuracy.

Reasonable

  • The site is fair, balanced, and objective.
  • The site makes its purpose clear.
  • The site contains no conflict of interest.
  • The site does not include fallacies or slanted  tone.

Support

  • The site lists scholarly or otherwise reliable sources for its information, providing links where available.
  • The site clarifies which content it is responsible for  and which links are created by unrelated
  • The site provides contact information for its authors and/or sponsors.
  • If the site is an academic resource, it follows the conventions of a specific style (MLA, APA, or another accepted style).