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IS 103 First Year Experience - Negron: Evaluating Website

Finding and Evaluating Websites

Anyone anywhere can post anything on the Web, including people and organizations who have ideas and opinions and are not experts on the issues and topics being discussed.   As you are conducting your research for your assignments it is very important to find and use the most credible and reliable information from trusted sources that are reviewed by the appropriate authority before they are published.  The ABCD method below is one tool to help you evaluate resources. 

SIFT - beginning notes only



INVESTIGATE the source

  • "knowing the expertise and agenda of the source is crucial to your interpretation of what they say." source: 
  • "Taking sixty seconds to figure out where it is from before reading will help you decide if it is worth your time, and if it is, help you to better understand its significance and trustworthiness." source: 
  • Quoting from a different page, "For example, a fitness instructor might be a great person for advice on a fitness routine, but you wouldn't get medical advice from them. Likewise, you might ask your doctor about an illness or medical condition, but you wouldn't expect them to be an expert in aerobics." source:


FIND trustworthy coverage

  • "find the best source you can that covers this, or, just as importantly, scan multiple sources to see what the consensus seems to be."  source: 
  • Paraphrasing from  second video on this page  : in order to find out about the credibilty of a website, don't look at what the website /organization says about itself; instead, look at what the web (or others or trustworthy sources) says about that organizatoin.   


TRACE claims, quotes, media back to orginal context



DO WE WANT VOCABULARY?  Below is copied and pasted from

  • For the purpose of this course, a claim is a statement that purports to express something about reality. "The U.S. landed a space craft on the moon in 1969" is a relatively simple claim that is true. "The moon landing of 1969 was fake." is a simple claim that is false. "The mission to land on the moon was driven by Cold War fear more than scientific curiousity" is a complex claim one can have a range of opinions on, but is still, for a given context, either a well-supported claim, a controversial claim, or a claim lacking any real support.
  • A source is the place where a claim or other information can be found. This course is a source of information about disinformation. Most claims can be found in multiple sources. You might find information about the moon landing in the Wall Street Journal, a website like Gizmodo, a textbook, a research paper, or a video recording of astronauts talking about the mission.



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