Not all websites are created equal. For research papers, only use websites that pass the CRAAP test. Use the worksheet at the bottom of the column when evaluating sources.
- When was the information published?
- Has the site been updated recently?
- Does your topic require current information or will 'historic' information be ok?
- How well does this information relate to your topic?
- For what audience is the information intended?
- Is it at the appropriate level (i.e. not too simple or advanced) for your reading audience?
- Who is the author of the site? Can you find a name, organization, or business listed?
- Why is this person/organization/business qualified to give information on this topic?
- Is there a contact name or e-mail listed in case you need to follow-up?
- Does the URL tell you anything about the source (.com, .edu, .gov)?
- Where does the information come from?
- Is the information supported by evidence like data, interviews, exc.?
- Are there outside sources listed or linked?
- Does the language seem unbiased?
- Are there spelling errors and other typos?
- What is the purpose of the information? To inform, teach, sell or entertain?
- Are the intentions of the site clear?
- Does the viewpoint appear to be impartial and objective?