8 Ways to Tell if a Website is Reliable

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so mrs. Omer can we use Google that is

one of the most common questions I

receive when we start the research

project now while I encourage you to use

the library applications that are

available to you the different databases

like Gale and sirs which have more than

enough information for you build to your


sometimes I know depending on your topic

you might have a difficult time finding

most current research or even good

research that covers your supporting

points so yes you may use Google but I'm

here to show you how to find the best

sources on Google I'm going to give you

eight ways to tell if a website is

reliable so firstly the first thing that

you need to make sure when looking for a

reliable website is to look for sites

from established institutions so for

example if we were doing our project on

the death penalty we want to look for

organizations that we know that would

have information on the death penalty so

of course maybe the first place you

might look is the US Department of

Justice of course they are the

organization that deals with a death

penalty because they are the

organization that deals with the court

systems so a quick search for capital

punishment at the Department of

Justice's website might provide you some

good information some good very

up-to-date statistics that perhaps the

Articles that are available on the

databases don't have access to because

there are articles that were published

last year the year before year before

that this is going to have the most

current up-to-date information because

it is constantly updated with new cases

it's an established institution

Department of Justice is a reliable

source is a trustworthy source something

else that you need to look for when

you're looking for reliable sources is

bias now something like the Department

of Justice isn't going to be biased

because this is a very fact-based

website that has just statistics just

facts if you were looking for say some

information against the death penalty

then of course you could find some

biased sites that are in favor of your

stance you know something like Amnesty

International while it is an established

website it certainly will have

information really that only goes to

their point for example you can see they

say right here the death penalty is one

of the issues they cover is one of the

issues that they are against so of

course all the information on their

website is only going to be facts and

statistics that lean toward their side

of being anti deaf mounting something

for example like death penalty focus

I've seen students go to use this

website while it is a org for example

which means it's an organization as you

can see right off the bat it tells you

it's working for alternatives to the

death penalty this means that this

obviously is a biased website the

information here the statistics the

facts that you're going to find here are

going to be facts that really only lean

toward one side of the issue you want to

find information that is unbiased that

presents both sides so for example if we

went to the death penalty information

center or somewhere like pro/con org

these are two sites that present both

sides of the argument and fashion

statistics for both sides

something like pro/con org the nature of

this website is to prevent both the pros

those that are Pro a topic and those who

are against a topic all right so they're

going to give you both information is

going to be unbiased something else to

look for when you're looking for

reliable website you want to steer clear

of commercial site sites that are really

looking just to get your money

so if you see cheesy ads on a site like

I'm looking here I don't see really any

ads on this site

I don't see any ads here as well right

no ads but if I go maybe to somewhere

like Death Valley org we're going to see

some cheesy ads down here at the bottom

here's one for pledge right there just

trying to draw you to the site to make

money off of ads right so you're looking

for non-commercial sites also look for

sites with expertise again you want to

see who else is using this site if you

go to the death penalty Information

Center for example if you go to the

About section where you - there should

always be an About section that tells

you who these people are why they are

trustworthy you're going to see they're

going to try to sell themselves -

they're going to show who else is using

their site well here we go Library of

Congress they've given them an award

right they're going to put into the

digital archives of the US Library of

Congress you can see they have an

education award a top nonprofit award

they're also going to show all the

different news sources that have

reference Death Penalty Information

Center right so this shows you they they

haven't an expertise on this topic if

other sources if CNN is using them you

certainly as a 9th grader can use them

for example also pro con org also

they're going to have again who we are

section right but if you look under

their media section it tells you all the

different sites all the different

sources and media sources that have

referenced them right you can see CNN

Time BBC tells you exactly how many

media references me again if ABC News 60

minutes Guardian Huffington Post New

York Times if they are using this source

clearly the source is an expert on the

field and you can use it as a


one last thing about being a commercial

site as you can see for example pro con

org appear at at actually asks you for

money that does not mean it's a

commercial site these are just asking

for donations they need to be able to

support their site because it's a non

Offutt so they don't make a profit off

of this website they don't have ads

you're looking for sites with ads if

there's advertising the site they're

strictly trying to get you to come to

their site so that you see those ads and

they can charge a company money

all right that's a commercial site

something else to make sure you check

for you want to make sure that you look

at the website and the way that it's

produced okay a lot of money goes into

making a website look nice and easily

manageable so you want to make sure you

look at the websites look you look for

who put out the website if it's an

anonymous you have no idea who made it

it could be you know a sixth grade

student who made the website back in

1998 right so we want to look at the

websites look we want to check the date

we want to check the author okay so

something for example back to this

anti-death-penalty org that I've

actually caught students trying to use

you can see firstly the date 2011 that's

a few years old

that's not a reputable source to use

because potentially outdated if you

actually look at the way the site looks

it's kind of cheap looking and there's

no about me section I have no idea who

made this website and I'm not sure if I

can even trust the statistics they give

here because I don't know who put it out

and I'm not really sure exactly where

they got the information right even

something like this one for example okay

this is another source I saw a student

trying to use this website clearly right

not even an actual website it's just

someone's webpage that they put an

article or I think it's an actually an

essay it does give the person's name

immediately I wonder who that is and I

look down here it does say he that he's

professor philosophy right eyes are a

number of books including ones on

capital punishment however again the

websites look not very professional it's

just this person's opinion well you know

maybe a well researched opinion but if I

look down at the bottom here I'm looking

for a date any information I

could find on who this is and if I look

all the way down the bottom here it does

say July 1992 that's not going to be an

updated site I need the most current

statistics most current information so

again we're not just authors look at the

way the website looks you know something

like the Bureau of Statistics from the

Department of Justice the very


easily you can easy easily find

information and search for information

so well laid-out website same with

pro/con org and the other websites we're

looking at you know

although Amnesty International for

example might look very nice and

beautiful again we talked about that

bias as being something that eliminates

it lastly you want to check the links if

this website has links on it that are so

old they don't work then again you want

to make sure that you don't use it you

know something like this site again if

we go to links and actually the links

website you know some of these sources

potentially don't work because they're

so old so you want to make sure that

again it's most up-to-date here we go

again with the cheesy ads right when

this is ad have to do with the death

penalty nothing they really want you to

come here so that they can make money

off of the ads so that's a good way to

check to see if you have a reliable

website so you know be sure that if you

are going to use information from the

internet versus getting something from a

database that it is reliable it is

trustworthy it is valid that the

information that you're using is an

accurate information all right so if you

have a question about a site feel free

to come to me that's fine otherwise you

should be able to use these eight tips

to help determine whether your

information is accurate

thank you very much