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Evaluating Sources: Websites

Evaluation Criteria

Listed below are some general strengths and weaknesses of websites.  Think about these as you begin to decide whether or not you would like to use the websites you have considering.  

Web Strengths Web Weaknesses
  • Many different points of view on the web.  
  • Many different formats of information (text, images, audio, video, interactive media, etc.)
  • Can be very up-to-date.  Events can appear in real time as they happen.
  • Not very organized.
    • Finding what you need is like looking for a needle in a haystack
  • Many websites lack quality control.
  • There is a lot of inaccurate, outdated, biased information.


  • Is the URL an educational (.edu), commercial (.com), organization (.org), or government (.gov) site or an individual's personal website? None of these means bad!!
  • Does the website provide the author's credentials
  • Is the website current and up to date?
  • Is the information credible?
  • Does the website have a biased opinion or viewpoint?
  • Are there advertisements selling products?
  • Does the site have a way to contact the author or person(s) responsible?
  • Is it easy to find the information you need?


Still having trouble determining whether or not your website source is credible?  You are not alone.  There are many instances where reputable organizations publish information that is not true.  Don't believe me?  Check out this link:

This site will determine if some "facts" are part of a hoax.

Wikipedia Fact Check

One way to quickly check the credentials of a website is to check it on Wikipedia. type the url followed by wikipedia in the address bar, and you will be directed to the article that describes the site, the sponsors and any other information that will help you determine the site's reliability.