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ENG1020 English Composition - Spring 2020: Evaluating Websites



  • When was the information written or published? 
  • Has it been updated?
  • Is it out of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?


  • Does the information answer your research question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level?


  • Is the author a person, company, or organization?
  • Is the author an expert on the subject?
  • Is contact information included?
  • Does the URL reveal anything?


  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Can you verify the information?
  • Is it peer reviewed?
  • Does the language seem unbiased?
  • Are there spelling, grammatical or other typographical errors?


  • Is the purpose to inform / teach / sell / entertain / persuade?
  • Do the authors make their intentions clear?
  • Is the point of view objective?

5 Types of Web Resources

1. Business and Marketing

  • Published by companies or other commercial enterprises
  • Purpose is to promote the company or sell products
  • Often includes a mixture of information, entertainment and advertisement
  • Examples include Amazon and Microsoft

2. News and Current Events

  • Published by companies or corporations
  • Provides up-to-date information
  • Limited access to free information and may require registration
  • Examples include New York Times and CNN 

3. Informational

  • Published by government (.gov) or educational (.edu) sites
  • Provides factual information on a particular topic
  • Often includes reference materials, research reports. statistics, etc.
  • Examples include U.S. Census Bureau and National Institutes of Health (NIH)

4. Advocacy

  • Published by an organization
  • Purpose is to influence public opinion
  • The url address usually ends in .org
  • Examples include the World Wildlife Fund and U.S. Travel Association

5. Personal

  • Published by individuals who may or may not be affiliated with a larger group 
  • Includes any type of information, such as biographical data, hobbies, etc.
  • Examples include social media profiles and blogs