English 155: Professor Chainee
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.)
Note: check online help for the correct truncation symbol
Finding Books in the Library Catalog
Use the Catalog search box located in the center of the library's homepage to search for books. To search for books on your topic, use the default Keyword search option and enter your search terms in the For box.
If you have a specific book or author in mind, before you enter your search terms in the For box, change the Search type from Keyword to:
- Title - to look for a specific book.
- Author - to look for books by a specific author.
- Subject - to look for books assigned a particular subject heading. One subject heading to try for your analyzing images essay is: Advertising social aspects.
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.
Using Google Scholar
You can find items the Oviatt Library owns using Google Scholar's capabilities. To activate the capabilities for your browser, go to Scholar Preferences:
- In the box next to Library Links type "CSUN" and click Find Library.
- Check the box next to "CSU, Northridge (SFX Find It)"
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Preferences button.
Select SFX: Additional Options or SFX: Find It for access to online full text, Oviatt Library holdings information, and Interlibrary Loan.
Citing Your Sources
The library website provides sample citations for MLA, APA, and other citation styles on the Citing Your Sources page.
If you have questions as you do your research, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-677-6808. For help 24/7, go to Ask-A- Librarian.
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