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English 1301 - Composition I: Evaluating Websites

Resources to help you select and write about controversial issues and current topics.

Topic Lists

Evaluating a Website

Today's technology makes it easy to create a website and post information. Not all information on the Internet is credible, so it's important that you evaluate the site to determine if the information is from a reliable, authoritative source.  

Authority & Accuracy

  • Is there an author or sponsor, such as a company or corporation?
  • What are the author's credentials? Do they have the necessary education or expertise?
  • Is there a link to information about the author or contact information? Look in the footer for authorship information. Don't confuse the author with the webmaster for the site. 
  • Domain extensions help to identify a credible site.

    • .edu - academic institution
    • .gov - government website
    • .com - commercial site
    • .org - nonprofit organization
    • .net - network of computers

 Purpose & Content

  • What is the site's purpose?
  • Does the information appear biased or opionated?
  • Is the content factual?
  • Is its purpose to provide facts? To persuade the reader? To sell a product?


  • When was the site last updated?
  • Is it well maintained? Do all links work?
  • Does the page link to sites no longer working? 
  • Does the content support the site's purpose? If it's a news site, is the information current?  

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Leif Pierson