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Using Credible Internet Sources
FALL 2011
People lie on the Internet
What does this mean for us?
 Choose sources that are reviewed for accuracy.
 Academic journals online are nearly always peer reviewed.
 Look for websites marked .edu or .gov – this means they are
published by an educational or governmental institution.
 Look for websites known to be authorities on the subject (like,
NASA for space exploration).
 Well-known periodicals (ex. The New York Times) generally
report factually and objectively – the articles are edited before
being published.
Why wouldn’t we want to use Wikipedia?
 Let’s take a look at Wikipedia’s “about us” page…
“Wikipedia is written collaboratively by
largely anonymous Internet volunteers
who write without pay. Anyone with
Internet access can write and make
changes to Wikipedia articles…”
Questions to ask yourself
 Who is the author? What qualifies him/her to speak
on the subject?
Who is sponsoring this website? Are any biases at
Where did she/he get this information?
Can you verify this information from another source?
When was the website published?
Has it been updated recently?
Sometimes sites LOOK credible…but aren’t
Let’s Practice
Would this be
a credible
source for the
sample essay
we read?
Let’s Practice (cont.)
Jot answers to the following:
 What credible organizations might have done
research into your topic?
 What would make someone qualified to speak on
your topic?
Discuss your answers with the person next to you. Can
you think of any tips for your partner?
When searching online, use keywords!
 For instance, in our example about teen suicide
rates, I might enter “teenage,” “suicide,” and
“America” into the search box.
 If you don’t get results, try using synonyms.
Instead of “teenage,” I might try “adolescent.”
I also might replace “America” with “United States” and see if I
get more hits.
 What keywords will you use
to research your topic? Jot
down three or more.
 Alone or with a partner,
come up with a synonym for
each keyword.