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Research Process: Identify & Evaluate

This guide focuses on the skills and resources needed to complete a research project.

Putting it all together

Before using information found on a web page for your research project, consider the following criteria to evaluate its credibility. 

You may have a higher quality Web page that could be of value to your research:

What kind of website is it?

One way to to help you evaluate your website is to determine the type of website you have found. Look at the URL. What does it say?

.com = commercial site
.edu = educational site
.gov = U.S. government site
.org = non-profit organization site (usually, but not always)
.mil = U.S. military sites and agencies
.net = networks/Internet Service Providers

Why Can't I Just Google?

Your Turn!

Check out this website:

Save The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Would you cite this as a legitimate source for your paper? It may look like the information is accurate, but is it? Is it a clever (or malicious) hoax? Check it for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage. Does it still hold up? Would you cite it in your paper? Would you give this charity money? (I wouldn't. Octopuses don't have any pockets!)

Remember, even though this is a funny (and harmless) website, false information abounds on the internet. Check your sources!