The best practices when using the internet for academic purposes are examining the url, examine the synopsis- or short description- of the site, bookmark sites that look useful, examine the related searches list, and always keep in mind what you need to find or locate. The reason that you should practice using these guidelines is so that you can get your information from reliable sources. When you examine a url, you should be able to determine if the source is from a reputable place, but this can be hard to determine. In examining the synopsis you might be able to tell by the description if the site is from a credible source, trying to sell you something, or is someone’s opinion. It is a good idea to bookmark a site that may be useful to your search but is not your first choice material. By examining the related searches you may come across a topic that makes better sense for what you are searching for. Finally, remember to stay on task and the reason that you are on the internet. It is so easy to go off onto another site that looks appealing. You can determine if a website is reputable and worthwhile for a research paper by analyzing the url and synopsis. If a url is from a school, government site, or from a reputable company then it is probably a good source. Org sites are now sold to anyone so it does not mean that it is a non-profit company that you are dealing with. Wikipedia is also not a good source of information because anyone can go onto the site to post or edit information; therefore the information may not be from a reliable source. When you view the synopsis it can give you a preview of what the site is about. If you see a price then you know that they are trying to sell you something. You may also see political views, blogs, and other information that will alert you that the site is a waste of your time.
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