Further Evaluation

Purposes of this lesson:

  • Identify important criteria for evaluating your source material.
  • Generate strategies for learning more about authors' credentials and credibility.
  • Recognize the importance of book reviews.
  • Identify sources for finding book reviews or other review materials.

Engaging With Your Sources

After you have explored your topic, refined your thoughts and your search strategies, the next step in the research process is to engage in the conversation, documenting the validity of your position, and crediting the other "speakers" whose work you have used to establish your position. This section will include strategies for validating your chosen sources more fully and will help you learn to cite your resources properly to avoid plagiarism.

What's Next?

You have completed this lesson on exploring your topic using the web. We will look at other strategies for searching the Web and evaluating Web sites in the Refining Your Ideas section.

Continue on to take the first quiz.

Exploring the Web Exercise

This exercise is intended to help you become more familiar with one search engine and to show you how to learn more about the Web sites you find.

Pick a search engine from those listed below. The link will open a new browser window. When you finish the exercise, close the browser window to return to the tutorial.

Some Popular Search Engines to Try

Evaluating Web Sites

Let's take a look at two Web sites uncovered by searching for endangered species on Yahoo!. There are some clues to credibility we can look at before we ever go to the sites themselves. When you position your mouse over the link, the address you are about to go to shows on the bottom of your browser window.

Based on titles of the links, two potentially helpful sites are:

Where are You and Why Does it Matter?

Anyone, from researchers to school children, can make information available on the Web. It is up to you to determine the value of the information you find.

These are some questions you should ask yourself about each site you find:

Search Engine Strategies

The following strategies can help make the time you spend searching with search engines more fruitful:

Understanding Search Engines

What is the best search engine for searching? There really is no best, because each search engine "does its own thing." Search engines have not yet standardized in the same way many library catalogs and article databases have. As you search the Web, you may find yourself returning to the same search engine. Most people have a "favorite" search engine they tend to use, probably because they become familiar with its features and become more adept at finding what they want.

Getting More Information from the World Wide Web

Many people begin the search for information by "surfing the Web." Strategies for using search engines have some similarities to those for the library catalog and article databases that the library provides. However, search engines are different from these databases in some important ways.

What's Next?

You have completed this lesson on exploring your topic using article databases to find magazine or journal articles. Click on another of the topics at the bottom to continue with the tutorial.

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