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Christiana Homeschool Academy - Research Tips: Find Web Sites

Evaluating websites

Can't I just use Google?

We aren't going to tell you not to ever use Google -- we use it to answer questions all the time! Just remember that not everything you find will be reliable, unbiased, up-to-date information.

If your professor allows you to use websites for your research paper/project, make sure you critically evaluate them first.

How do I evaluate something on the internet?

Ask yourself some questions about what you're reading:

  • Who? Who owns the site—e.g., a company, a government agency, a university, an individual blogger? Who writes articles on the website, and what else do they write about?
  • What? What does the site tell you about your topic? Does it back up claims with citations or links to other reliable websites?
  • When? When was the site published/last updated? You should not find any broken links.
  • Why? Why was the site created—e.g., to inform, to entertain, to sell something? Does the site contain an "About Us" section or mission statement?

Tips and resources

Some good places to start

Tips for online research:

  • Try using Google's Advanced Search
  • Look for .gov and .edu URLs, which tend to be more reliable web sources
  • Trust your instincts -- if something seems fishy, try to find another source to confirm it!
  • Ask for help. Librarians love to see what you're working on and how they can help!
  • Try Google Scholar for online scholarly articles:
Google Scholar Search


Carroll librarians created these tutorials to help students learn how to use and evaluate sources online: