Evaluating online sources for essays

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1. The Internet is the biggest library in the world, and tens of thousands of documents are added to it – every day. Evaluating the online sources of any information you download is a vital part of making sure it is relevant to your needs.

2. You also need to be sure about the accuracy, reliability, and value of any information you use. For instance, there is a big difference between a web site run by an amateur enthusiast and the official site of a big organisation.

3. Even the world’s largest encyclopedia — WIKIPEDIA — has its limitations. It is written by amateur volunteers and then edited by self-appointed experts, but it might contain mistakes or information which contains personal bias.

4. The following articles are designed to help you in the task of evaluating the information your retrieve from online sources.

5. You can print out this page for reference, or if you are connected to the Internet, just click the URL to go straight to the site named.

6. Documents are sometimes moved from one location to another on the Internet. If you receive a ‘Document not found’ message, try progressively removing the last section of the URL [ / this-bit] in your browser. Re-submit your search each time.

7. If you are reading this whilst connected to the Internet, click any of the addresses below and you will be taken directly to the document.

© Roy Johnson 2003

Essay writing links

Evaluating online sources Writing Essays

evaluating online sources How to Write Critical Essays

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