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Evaluating Internet Sources: Evaluation Questions

A guide to evaluating websites for quality

Evaluating Internet Resources

Clipart of the information highway

Use the questions provided here to help you evaluate Internet sites for use as academic resources. Use the Evaluation Criteria tab for more in-depth information.

  • How did you find this website?
    • Did a professor or other reliable source recommend it?
    • Was it cited in a scholarly or credible source?
    • Was it a link from a reputable website?
  • What is the website's domain name ending?
    • What kind of site is it? .edu, .com, .gov, .org, .net?
    •  .edu and .gov websites tend to be more reliable than .com, .net, and most .org sites.
  • Who is the sponsor or host of the website?
    • To locate the host of a web page, you can delete any part of the address after the first forward slash (/) in a site's URL.
    • Also look for words such as Hosted by, About us, or Contact us.
    •  The web address for the page What's Wrong with Making Assisted Suicide Legal? is https://www.nrlc.org/medethics/wrongwithaslegal. If you delete everything past the first slash you are left with https://www.nrlc.org which is the site for the organization National Right to Life.
  • What degree of authority does the website's author have?
    • Who is the author? What are her/his credentials? Is the author or source of the website an expert in his/her field?
    • Can you find the contact information for the author?
    •  Look for the author's name at the top or bottom of the page, or in a section of the site titled About us, Contact us, or something similar.
  • Is the website accurate and objective?
    • Does the information seem objective, unbiased, and fair?
    • How does the information compare to print sources you have read?
    • Are sources of factual or statistical information cited?
    • Does the page contain advertising? Is the entire site an advertisement?
    •  Compare the information on this page to reliable sources that you have already read on the topic.
  • Is the website current?
    • When was the page last updated?
    • Are the links functional?
    • Is the information timely and up-to-date?
    •  Look for a date at the top or bottom of the page.
  • Is the website functional?
    • Is the site well organized?
    • Is there a site map or index?
    • Are there lots of typos or grammatical errors on the site?
    • Is the website searchable?
    • Is the site easy to navigate?
    •   Remember that just because a site looks nice, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a reliable source of information.