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History of Louisiana - HIST 2100

Website Evaluation

Websites, like all potential sources, must be evaluated to determine reliability.  While not scholarly sources, information found on the internet can still be used as a source for your research if it meets certain standards. Consider these 4 aspects about an online source to determine if it is reliable:

  1. Author
  2. Motivation or Bias
  3. Evidence
  4. Timeliness

1. Author

  • Is the author listed?
  • Is the author an individual or a group?
  • What makes the author an expert?

2. Motivation or Bias

  • Is this opinion or fact?
  • Is the source supported by an organization or company? What do they stand to gain from this?
  • Websites ending in ".edu" or ".gov" will more likely present a neutral point of view (but not always).
  • Are your own biases making you critical about the source before examining the evidence?

3. Evidence

  • Does the source provide any evidence such as citations or links? Do the links work?
  • Was the information reviewed by experts?
  • Can you confirm the information in another source?

4. Timeliness

  • When was the information published or last updated?
  • Is the information up to date?

Fact-Checking Websites

Search for stories on these fact-checking websites to determine their bias and if what you see on the internet is actually true.

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