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Criminal Justice - Sheaffer

This guide will help you find quality sources for your research assignment.

Evaluating Internet Sites

Credibility

  • Who is the author or organization responsible for the information?
  • What are the author’s credentials? (experience, education, academic or
  • professional affiliations)
  • Are the expert and the webmaster the same person?

Accuracy

  • Are references included that verify the information’s source?
  • Is the information consistent with other sources on the topic?
  • Are there mistakes in spelling and word usage?

Bias/Objectivity (Fact vs. Opinion)

  • Is more than one viewpoint or opinion expressed?
  • Is the information presented as fact or opinion?
  • Is the site’s purpose to inform? To entertain? To persuade? To explain? To advocate a cause? To sell a product?
  • Does the author use emotionally charged language?

Timeliness

  • When was the site’s last update?
  • When was the information compiled originally?
  • Is the information still valid or is it out of date?

Relevance

  • Is the information directed toward a general or specialized audience?
  • Is the information comprehensive enough for your needs? Specific enough? Too detailed? Too vague?
  • Does the information cover the correct period of time for your topic? The correct geographical area?

Federal Agencies

Criminal Justice Web Sites

Police Officer

Career Guide