Evaluating Web Sites for Argumentation Papers
1. Go to the website Death Penalty and the Catholic Church
What is the name of the organization that publishes this web site? ____________________________________________
What is their position on the death penalty? _______________________________________________
How would you use this website in a research paper? ______________________________________________________________________________
2. Go to the website In Defense of Smokers www.lcolby.com/
On the main web page, look for a link to information about the author of this page. What is this person’s background? __________________________________
Based on his background experiences and education, do you think he would be a good, knowledgeable source of information about health issues related to smoking? Why or why not?
Would you use the information from this website in a research paper? Why or why not?
3. Go to the website Abortion: All Sides of the Issue at www.religioustolerance.org/abortion.htm
This page says it provides information on all sides of the abortion issue. Do you agree? ________ Why or why not?
4. Go to the web page Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/index.htm
Who do you think this article is written for?
_____ Researchers ______ General public ______ Cigarette companies
What organization published this article? ______________________________________
Do you think you can believe what they have to say about smoking? ______________
Why or why not? ____________________________________________________________________________
5. Go to the web page Fact Sheet: Mandatory Storage/Trigger Lock Legislation http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/fact-sheets/1999/mandatory-storagetrigger-lock-legislat.aspx?s=trigger+lock&st=&ps=
What organization published this article? ___________ What is that organization’s position on gun control issues? _________________________________
How would you use this website in a research paper?
6. FIND A WEB PAGE ON YOUR TOPIC AND EVALUATE IT:
You can search for web pages using a Subject Directory, such as www.ipl.org , or start at web pages such as: http://www.publicagenda.org/pages/reports-and-surveys www.politics1.com library.sau.edu/bestinfo/Hot/hotindex.htm
Name of web page on your topic: __________________________________________________
Web page address (URL): _________________________________________________________
Author(if one is listed): ____________________________________________________
Background information on author: _____________________________________________________________________________
Is the author reliable/knowledgeable? ______________________
What is the author’s position on your topic? Pro Con Balanced
If a Company/organization publishes the page, what is its name? ________________________________________________________
Does the web site provide information about the organization? _________________
If yes, what does the website tell you about the company? _______________________________________________________________________________
Is this a reliable/knowledgeable publisher? __________________________________
What is this organization’s position on your topic? Pro Con Balanced
What do you think is the purpose of the web site?
________ To provide reliable information
________ To sell you something
________ To convince you of something
________ To entertain you
________ Other (Please describe) ________________________________________
How current is this web page? __________________ When was it last updated? ____________
Is the information on the web site accurate? (Remember, you will need to compare the information you find on the web site with information from other sources known to be reliable.)
Would you use this web page in your research? _____ Yes _____No _____Maybe
Why or why not? ______________________________________________________________