English 155: Professor Tremain
Evaluating Web Sites
What to look for:
- Authority - Who is the author? What's his/her background, education,
experience? Would you trust the organizations they are affiliated
with? Can you find contact information? What is the domain name (eg .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net)?
- Content & Coverage - What does it cover? Is it aimed at experts? Is the information relevant?
- Timeliness - When was it written? When was it last updated? Is the information still current?
- Accuracy - Can you check the information somewhere else? (Especially
important for things like Wikipedia!) Has someone else reviewed
the content? Does it include a list of works cited or other clues
to how the information was found?
- Objectivity - Does the site have a bias? Are there advertisements or links to
organizations that might be a clue? What does the domain name tell
you about objectivity?
Narrow or Broaden Your Search (Boolean Searching)
Use AND between terms to narrow your search
example: television and violence and children
Use OR and/or truncate (*, ?) words to broaden your search
example: children or youth or adolescents
example: child* (will find child, children, etc.)
example: wom?n (will find woman or women)
Note: check online help for the correct truncation symbol
You can use these databases or any others listed on the database pages; this list is only a suggestion of places to start your research. If the full-text is not available for the article you want to see, click the button or the "Find Text" link to see if the full-text is available in another database.
Citing Your Sources
The library website provides sample citations for MLA, APA, and other citation styles: http://library.csun.edu/Find_Resources/e-books/estylegd.html
For more information on how to create an annotated bibliography: http://library.csun.edu/Research_Assistance/annotated.html
If you have questions as you do your research, go to Ask-A- Librarian (http://library.csun.edu/Research_Assistance/askus.html), or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-677-6808.