How To Tell If A Site Is Reliable
There are multiple ways to tell if a site is or is not reliable... for example: Is there an author listed for your site? Are there ads? Is the grammar and punctuation correct. Is it biased information? Are there pictures? If so are they related to your topic? Does the URL end in ".com, .edu, or .gov?"(etc.)
More Ways For Sites To Stay On Topic
A way for sites to stay on your topic when searching is by using key words in databases, "advanced search" helps pinpoint just what you need by eliminating excess sites with information that has nothing to do with your topic.
When in writing/typing your essay, it is okay to quote another author's words... but you have to make sure you have the quotation marks, and remember to cite the author in a bibliography(list of authors/sources you have borrowed information from). Otherwise it is called plagiarism, and you can be kicked out of college for plagiarizing. Plagiarism is basically online theft, for stealing another author's words. If you do not want to directly quote an author, try rephrasing. Although be careful, you did not directly quote an author, but you still took their idea, changed some of the words around, and passed it on as your own. You will still have to cite the author. Avoid plagiarism by citing the author.