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ENGL 057 - Critical Connections in Reading and Writing - Felty: Websites

Tips for Online Searching

 

Use academic vocabulary

You’ll want to think of words that are specific to your research topic. Use keywords that you have already identified for the library databases. 

Use unbiased language

You won’t want to use terms that are considered biased. Biased terms usually evoke strong emotions and a need for urgency.

Think like a computer

You won’t want to type in long search strings. Just like you did for the library databases you will want to use keywords. 

Getting the Most Out of Google!

Tips for searching Google

  • Under “Search within a site or domain” in Google's Advanced Feature, enter .edu, .org, or .gov to only search university, organizations, or government websites.
  • Use recognized keywords and simple searches like you would in a book catalog or database search

Is it CRAAP?

Currency

If relevant, when was the information gathered?
When was it posted? When was it last revised?
Are links functional and up-to-date?
Is there evidence of newly added information or links?

Relevance/Coverage

What is the depth and breadth of the information presented?
Is the information unique? Is it available elsewhere, in print or electronic format?
Could you find the same or better information in another source (for example, a general encyclopedia)?
Who is the intended audience? Is this easily determined?
Does the site provide the information you need?
Your overall assessment is important. Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority 

 Who is the author/creator/sponsor?
Are author's credentials listed?
Is the author a teacher or student of the topic?
Does the author have a reputation? Is there contact information, such as an e-mail address? Has the author published works in traditional formats? Is the author affiliated with an organization?
Does this organization appear to support or sponsor the page?
What does the domain name/URL reveal about the source of the information, if anything?

Example: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy 

 Where does the information come from?
Are the original sources of information listed?
Can you verify any of the information in independent sources or from your own knowledge?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed? Does the language or tone seem biased?
Are there spelling, grammar, or other typos?

Purpose

Are possible biases clearly stated?
Is advertising content vs. informational content easily distinguishable? Are editorials clearly labeled?
Is the purpose of the page stated?
Is the purpose to: inform? teach? entertain? enlighten? sell? persuade?
What does the domain name/URL reveal about the source of the information, if anything?

Example: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Thanks to the Meriam Library at CSU Chico for formulating the CRAAP test.