Did you know that anyone can write a web page? For this reason it is important to know that the author is qualified to write on the subject. For example, would you trust the information about a disease from someone who has just been to a doctor or would you feel more comfortable getting expert advice. It is obvious we need information that is accurate and so we must become critical of the websites we are using. The following list of questions will give some tips on the main things to look for.
IS IT A PRIMARY OF SECONDARY SOURCE
- Primary sources are newspapers , magazine accounts, letters, diaries , fims written or recorded at the time of the event. They are eyewitnesss accounts of an event.
- Secondary sources are interpretations of an event and it is important that you know who wrote the article. Did you realise that much of the web consists of student work that may or may not be accurate.
WHO WROTE IT?
- Is the author an expert in the area or just someone with an interest?
When you find an article visit the homepage and ABOUT US to determine who wrote the page. If the site doesn’t list the name of the management team –find another site. Also a credible publisher should be mentioned on other reputable web sites.
WHY DID THEY WRITE IT?
- Some sites are designed primarily for advertising so find out who is presenting the information. They are designed to promote a specific point of view.
HOW OLD IS THE WEB PAGE?
- As events unfold over hours or weeks stories can change a great deal. Always check the date of the source. Find out when the page was published and use advanced search options to find time sensitive material – go to GOOGLE Advanced.