The Internet can be very helpful in the research process. There is, however, a lot of information on the Internet that is questionable or just plain incorrect. Student must make a habit of evaluating Internet resources to determine whether they convey accurate information. There are several things that a student can do to gauge the quality of an Internet resource.
In order for an Internet resource to be reliable the writer of the webpage must be able to offer a great deal of knowledge on the subject. For example, a student who is writing a report on thoroughbred racehorses will want to look for webpages written by people who are authorities on that subject. A webpage writer who owns or trains racehorses is likely to be a reliable source of information. In short, a student should look for Internet resources written by people who are experts on the subject matter they are writing about.
Students should consider the motivations behind the existence of an Internet resource. For example, some webpages are designed to sell a product or service – these rarely provide authoritative information. They may include tidbits of information, but the main purpose of the website is to sell something, not to educate the user. Other webpages are created to convey information to readers for educational purposes. Quality Internet resources contain both unbiased and accurate information. A student should ask whether an Internet resource is there to inform readers or to sell a product.
A student must look for Internet resources with up-to-date information. An Internet resource should have current facts and statistics that will be helpful in a student’s research. In addition, a student should check to see if any recent updates have been made to a webpage. After all, a student’s assignment loses credibility if it contains outdated information.
Using unreliable Internet resources can cause a student to include false information in an essay, report, or paper. Furthermore, a teacher may check the quotes or statistics in a student’s assignments only to find them inaccurate. Consequently, a student may end up rewriting the assignment or receiving a poor grade. In order to avoid the pitfalls of using unreliable Internet resources, a student may want to look for webpages that belong to universities or other educational institutions. Generally, these pages have web addresses that end in .edu. In addition, government webpages (.gov) are also known for their reliable information.
When it comes to searching for quality Internet resources, there are some tips to keep in mind:
- Choose Internet resources with facts and information that can be verified in a publication or on another reliable webpage.
- Consider the author’s reasons/motivations for providing the information on the webpage. Is the author’s writing unbiased and informative?
- Choose Internet resources with up-to-date information. Are there current facts and statistics provided on the webpage?
- Select Internet resources with information offered by knowledgeable contributors. Check for the author’s credentials and knowledge of the topic.
- Try using Internet resources with web addresses that end in .edu or .gov. These webpages are known for providing reliable information to visitors.
- Choose Internet resources that wish to inform and educate visitors without trying to sell them something.
Finally, a student who strives to find reliable Internet resources will improve the overall quality of his or her assignment. Most importantly, by using reliable Internet resources a student will be successful in learning more about a subject.
For more information on choosing quality Internet resources, please visit:
- Evaluating Internet Resources: Peruse a list of questions that will help a student determine the usefulness of an Internet resource.
- Issues to Consider When Evaluating an Internet Resource: Checkout a list of questions that a student may answer regarding the quality of an Internet resource.
- Evaluating a Variety of Internet Resources: Discover information on how to determine the quality of a variety of Internet resources.
- Information on Evaluating Internet Resources: Learn about the different questions to ask when considering the reliability of an Internet resource.
- Guidelines of Evaluating an Internet Resource: View a list of items to look into when considering the quality of an Internet resource.
- Facts on Evaluating an Internet Resource: Find some basic questions for a student to ask him or herself when determining the credibility of an Internet resource.