Evaluating Internet Sources

 

 

Topic: Ghosts, Fortune Tellers and Psychics

 

Some questions to ask yourself as you look at information on the Internet:

  1. Who is the author? Is there any information about the author, such as experience or education that would make this author an expert on the subject?
  2. Who is paying to support this Web site?
  3. When was the information created or last updated?
  4. What is the purpose of the Web site?

 

To find out who is supporting a site, we need to understand the source of the Internet information. Major contributors of Internet information can be organized into four large categories:

Government sites: including 3 huge federally-funded national libraries,

Educational institutions: universities, colleges, &research institutions.

Commercial businesses: everyone trying to sell you something.

Nonprofit organizations: generally non-profit groups

You can tell which of these four categories is posting the information by looking at the URL, or address of the site.

Domain name endings: .com, .org, .edu, .gov

 

Hint: In addition to evaluating the Internet document itself, it's sometimes helpful to look at the site's homepage to learn about the sponsor/author. To do this click on the location bar (URL) once and the bar should be darkened. Click again and you will see your blinking curser in that bar. Place the curser directly after the domain name and delete what follows the domain name. Good places to look are sometimes lableled "About Us" or "FAQ" (frequently asked questions).

Visit Sites 1, 2 and 3 by clicking on their underlined link and see if you can find information about the creators of the sites.

Note: When you click on a link, your browser should open up a new window for the link. To return to this assignment page, just close the window by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of the window.

Warning! You do not want to X out of this assignment page until you have submitted your answers at the end of the assignment, otherwise your answers will be lost.

If you aren't sure of the meaning of some words, you may want to look up the defintions (meanings) in an online dictionary. If you click on this link, dictionary, you will open up a new screen with a box to type in your word. Click on the Begin Search button and you will see the definition of the word.

In the boxes below, write an evaluation for each site based on the five evaluation questions. Please respond using complete sentences.

Site #1

  • Who wrote the information?
  • Who is paying the bill to publish the information?
  • Is there an inherent bias?
  • Do the authors quote research that can be checked or repeated?
  • How recent is the information?

Site #2

  • Who wrote the information?
  • Who is paying the bill to publish the information?
  • Is there an inherent bias?
  • Do the authors quote research that can be checked or repeated?
  • How recent is the information?

Site #3

Summerize the main points of this site.

  • Who wrote the information?
  • Who is paying the bill to publish the information?
  • Is there an inherent bias?
  • Do the authors quote research that can be checked or repeated?
  • How recent is the information?

 

I see a bright future for you as an investigator of Internet sites.

LET'S REVIEW

In this ESL 552 assignment on investigating paranormal sites, we covered:

  • Identifying the major contributors of Internet information
  • Distinguishing the different parts of a URL
  • Evaluating Internet sites for currency and credibility

You've almost finished. Now comes the most important part:

 Your Name:

Your Class Section #:

 Your Email Address:

Time Spent on this Assignment:

And now you can click on the submit button

 

 

This page was last updated on May 22, 2002.
Please send messages to Gloria Curtis for questions or comments.