Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Westminster College Logo

New Castle Area High School: Evaluating and Using Resources

Evaluating Web Resources

  • Who is the author?
  • What else has the author written?
  • In which contexts does the author have expertise?
    • Do they have a formal role in a particular institution (e.g. a professor at Oxford)? 
  • Why was this source created?
    • Does it have an economic value for the author or publisher? 
    • Is it an educational resource? Persuasive?
      • What (research) questions does it attempt to answer?
      • Does it strive to be objective?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Was it published in a scholarly publication, such as an academic journal?
  • Does the publication have a particular editorial position?
    • Is it generally thought to be a conservative or progressive outlet?
    • Is the publication sponsored by any other companies or organizations? Do the sponsors have particular biases?
  • Where, geographically, was it originally published, and in what language?
  • What is the scope of coverage?
    • Is it a general overview or an in-depth analysis?
    • Does the scope match your own information needs?
    • Is the time period and geographic region relevant to your research?
  • When was the source first published?
  • What version or edition of the source are you consulting?
    • Are there differences in editions, such as new introductions or footnotes?
    • If the publication is online, when was it last updated?
  • Are there any published reviews, responses or rebuttals?
  • Did they cite their sources?
    • If not, do you have any other means to verify the reliability of their claims?
  • Who do they cite?
  • Look closely at the quotations and paraphrases from other sources:
    • Did they appropriately represent the context of their cited sources?
    • Did they ignore any important elements from their cited sources?
    • Are they cherry-picking facts to support their own arguments?