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Evaluating and Citing Internet Sources


Who is the owner of a web site?

Who links to a web site?

In Google's search box, type in "link:" and the web site of interest. 


Five basic criteria that you can use to evaluate Internet sites:


1.  Accuracy Is the information reliable and error-free?
Sample sites to evaluate:
HIV/AIDS among Women

2.  Authority  Who Wrote it?

Who are the authors of these sites?

3.  Objectivity  Is there bias?  Why was it written?

Do either of these sites have bias?

4.  Currency  How timely is it?

How current are these sample sites?

Link #1

Link #2

5.  Coverage  How in-depth is it?

How in-depth are these sites?
Link #1 Link #2


Reading Web Addresses

Look at web addresses and make judgments about the web sites you are viewing.

  1. Look at the domain name (i.e.,  Do you recognize it?

  2. Look at the domain name extension (i.e., .com, .edu, .gov).  Some extensions can be owned by anyone such as .com, .org, and .net.  Two letter country codes such as .uk for the United Kingdom can also be found in extensions. 

  3. Is the page a personal page?  A web address cannot always answer this question.  However, as noted by Alan November, "The presence of a name in the URL such as jdoe and a tilde ~ or % or the word users or people or members frequently means you are on a personal web site."


MLA Helpful Links



Beck, Susan. "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why Itís a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources."  5 Nov 2008  <>.

November, Alan. "How to Read a Web Address." November Learning. November Learning. 5 Nov 2008 <>.

Sharkey, Jennifer. "Evaluating Internet Sources & Sites: a tutorial." Purdue University Libaries. Purdue University. 6 Nov. 2008 <>.



page last modified: June 01, 2009