ENGL 127 Research Writing: Social Sciences (Schaefer)

This research guide is for students in Amanda Schaefer's English 127: Focus on Family & Home

But is it a good website?

Evaluating Sources

How can you determine if you have a "good" web site? 

Think critically! Don't just take the first result in Google! Think about the following:

Authority and Accuracy
  • Who publishes the website?  Is this a well-known or respected institution?
  • Is there contact information for authors of the website content?  What is their background or credentials?
  • Is it a commercial site (.com), a government site (.gov), an educational site (.edu), a non-profit or other organization (.org)? How does this affect the information presented?
  • Do other reliable sites link to this one?
  • Are facts, ideas or references credible and backed up by citations to the original sources?
Purpose and Objectivity
  • What is the purpose of this site: to sell, inform, entertain or persuade?
  • Who sponsors this website?  What is their agenda or goal?
  • For what audience is this site written?
  • Is there an explicit or hidden bias behind the information presented?
  • Is there advertising on the site? Does this influence information found on the site?
  • Are arguments well-reasoned and supported?
  • Is the information on the page up-to-date?
  • Is the page updated regularly?
  • Are there dead links?

Use Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search

Use Google Advanced Search for power searching. Note your ability to limit to one particular domain (.gov, .edu, .org):

Sites for Housing Issues

Sites for family topics

There are hundreds of great sites dedicated to marriage and family out there! I've culled through many of them and highlighted some that I think are the best:

Sites for education topics

There is much information related to education out there on the world wide web. Here are a few good sites to start with:

Sites for Mental Health Topics

Why Web Sites?

Image from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. It provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

Why use web sites? For:
  • local issues, advocacy and support organizations, public issue think tanks, businesses, and groups
  • up-to-the-minute news and reporting
  • government web sites, including laws

News and News Blogs Online

Web searches return sources from a range of news publications and blogs. Be sure to assess your sources. One quick trick is to see what Wikipedia says about the source!

Google Web Search