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ENGL 101 English Composition 1 (ALP-Autoethnography): Find websites

Project: Writing Autoethnography

Why websites?

browser search bar with http://www. in it

image source below

The web is a great resource for:
  • Government information
  • International sources
  • Up-to-the-minute news
  • Local resources
  • Organizations involved in an issue
  • Statistics
  • Opinion
  • Images and video
  • and much more

Image Source: "Internet1" by Rock1997 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Evaluate websites with the CRAAP test

Here's a tool for evaluating not just websites, but all information!

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?
Currency
  • Is the information on the page up-to-date?
  • Is the page updated regularly?
  • Are there dead links?

Key Web Resources

Useful websites

The following web sites (and search engines) are a place to start, though they offer just a hint of what's out there.

Statistics & Government Resources

Select Research Centers /Public Policy Think Tanks:

Specific Social Issues:

Spotlight on Pew Research Center

Using Pew Research Center

"Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions." - Pew Research Center

Source: "Peer What is Pew Research Center?" by Pew Research Center, Standard YouTube license

Quote source: Pew Research Center. "About Pew Research Center." Pew Research Center, www.pewresearch.org/about/. Accessed 19 July 2020.

Accessing Pew Research Center

Use the link below to find credible reports, articles, and statistics on such larger topics as U.S. Politics, Media & News, Social Trends, Internet & Tech, Science and more!

Browse Topics on Pew Research Center

Browse Pew Researcher topics to find research on social identity groups and issues. Think about different entry points to your topic.

(click on image to enlarge)

Pew Research Topic Browse page

Following Links

This page on Educational Attainment (in the image below) links to four other reports with current, impartial, and reliable analysis. Be sure to follow the leads you get as you search - and to keep track of them!

(click on image to enlarge)

Pew Educational Attainment Reports

An Example

The image below shows the start of a report on college enrollment among Hispanic Americans.

(click on image to enlarge)

Pew Enrollment Rates Hispanics

Google advanced search tips

Search the Web to find: news and culture sources about and by your group, as well organizations that advocate on behalf of your group, organizations that represent your group, and government websites.

Don't settle for the first thing you find on the Web! Improve your search results with site-specific searching: 

Limit to:

  • Government websites: site:.gov
  • Educational institutions (but watch out for student work!) site:.edu
  • Non-profit organizations (and some businesses) site:.org

Download this PDF with more amazing tips and tricks for being a Google "power user."

More on Statistics