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What Are Credible Websites?

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If a stranger on the street came up to you and started speaking, you'd probably want to know more about him and what he was saying before you took him seriously.

The same goes for websites.

Our way of viewing the world is based on the information we encounter. We use that information to make lots of different kinds of decisions throughout our lifetimes.

There's a lot of information online, and since anyone can post it, it's crucial to evaluate websites before you trust the information you find.

Evaluating information is essential for your assignments. It will make your research better, strengthen your arguments, and get you better grades.

The first thing to consider is the type of website and where the website is coming from.

Is the website providing a service or product to sell?

Are there sponsored links and ads? .coms, or Commercial sites, are usually motivated to make money in some way.

Is the page supported by a group, organization or company?

What does the group stand to gain by convincing others of its points? .orgs are created by non-profit or for-profit organizations or associations.

Is the website from an educational or governmental institution?

These websites are more likely to provide objective information and don't contain ads or sponsored links because they are highly regulated.

Is the information from a personal website, a blog, or a website intended for sharing personal opinions about an issue?

Tildes or percent signs followed by personal names or initials usually indicate personal websites.

When you've identified the purpose of the website, ask yourself: "Who wrote this information?"... "Is the author an expert on this topic?"

"Is he or she very opinionated on this topic?"... "How does that influence what they may have written?"

Before you use a website for research, you'll need to do some detective work about the author.

If you don't immediately see an author listed, scan the parameter of the webpage for an "About" or "Info" section.

If you can't find information about the author, backtrack to the main website address by removing characters in the URL after the .com, .gov, or .org. domain.

When you find an author's name, use the name and a few subject-specific keywords in a Web search.

to get more information about other things that author might have written, or things that people might have said about him or her.