ABCD Method: Evaluating Websites

The information found in the books, magazines, newspaper and journal articles in the Windham High School Library and Databases has been evaluated by editors, publishers, and academic reviewers. The quality of information available on the World Wide Web varies greatly since few Internet websites have gone through a similar process of editing, peer review, and library selection. Both the strength and the weakness of information on the Internet is that anyone can publish. As a result, it is important to critically evaluate Internet websites.

A: Author/Authority

• Who is presenting the information? Is the author’s name


• What are the author’s credentials or level of expertise?

• Is the author or organization qualified to write on the topic?

• Can the author be contacted? Is an email address or street address or phone number listed?

• Where is the page published? Check URL domain (.edu, .org, .com, .gov)

B: Bias/Purpose

• What is the purpose of the page?

• Was it created to inform, to sell, to entertain, or persuade?

• Does the author or organization make their intentions clear?

• Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

• Is a particular point of view being presented?

C: Content

• Does the page have references?

• Is the information consistent with print sources or other

types of electronic sources on the subject?

• Who is the intended audience?

• Is the material easy for you to understand? Too easy? Too difficult? Appropriate for a high school level research paper?

• Is the information provided a complete and in-depth

coverage of the topic, or is it a superficial treatment?

• How does the page compare with web sites on the same


• Do the links to additional information work?

D: Date

When was the page written?

• Has it been updated recently?

• Is it important that the information be recent?

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