Evaluating a Website

Just remember your ABCD's

Credible sources of information

When we are researching or gathering information online it is very important that we evaluate our sources. What does that mean? Let's look at the clip below.
Evaluating Sources

Using ABCD to evaluate a website

Evaluating a website basically means to check and make sure the information on the website is correct and from a reliable source. So, once you have found a website that you would like to use for your research, follow these easy steps to evaluate it:

A- Author

Look for the author, who wrote the content on the website? You can look at the top or bottom of a page for clues. We know anyone can write information on the internet, but we have to make sure the sources we use were written by people who are experts in that field. Some questions to ask are:

  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Is the author an expert in that subject or topic?
  • Is there contact information?
  • Who is the publisher or organization responsible for the content?

B- Bias

Bias means to favor one thing over another based on your personal way of thinking. When you check a website for bias, think about the author's purpose. Was this information written to inform, entertain or persuade you? Some questions to ask are:
  • Is the information balanced?
  • Does it state both sides of an issue or is it biased towards one side?
  • Is it more opinion than fact?
  • Does it have evidence to support the facts or claims?

C- Content

This is where you check for the type of information and the overall organization of a website. A good place to start is by looking at what type of website it is (domain). Is it a commercial (.com), government (.gov), organization (.org), or education (.edu) website? Some other questions to ask are:

  • Is the information what you need?
  • How detailed and accurate is the information?
  • Does the text contain correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
  • Are references or a bibliography included?
  • Can you easily navigate the site?
  • Are the graphics appropriate and helpful?

D- Date

Finally, you need to check when the website was published or last updated. You can look at the bottom of the page to see if the author has included a date. Depending on your topic, you may want the most up-to-date information. Some questions to ask are:
  • When was the website created?
  • When was the website last updated?
  • If the site has links, are they still current? Do they still work?

  • Are there any broken/dead links?

Remember to use A B C D when evaluating a website

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Evaluation form

Below is a form you can use to evaluate a website. You can use it to help you review and reflect on the things you need to look for in a website when doing research online.