There is a wealth of knowledge and information to be found on the web and being able to judge the validity and appropriateness of a website can be very difficult. With the millions of great websites available to everyone there are just as many harmful and useless ones as well. Not all websites out on the web were created with innocent intentions but were created to harm, sell you something, give you false information, or express ones point of view. In the UC Berkley Library website "Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask," they provide a checklist for precautionary measures that you can take to ensure that the website you are on is a valid and appropriate source of information when researching. First, in the search results in the search engine you look at the URLs. Try and find information within the URL to see if it is someone's personal page, what type of domain, and who published it. Second, once inside the page selected to visit begin by scanning the page looking for links that may describe the sites content and what type of credentials the author of the site or page has. Third, UC Berkley recommends that you," look for indicators of quality information. Is the sources on the site documented with footnotes or links?" Is the sites information genuine and not incomplete? Make sure that it is not reproduced or altered information. Are there any other links for any other sources on the same subject? Lastly, you should try and see what others say about this site by simply seeing what other sites link to this page, do a link search in google or yahoo, or do a search on the author. These steps can greatly help you to evaluate the contents of a web page. It isn't by any means fail proof. There are a lot of web pages out there with inaccurate, malicious, and harmful content, but if you use these techniques it may help you to prevent from going to these types of sites and to visit the ones that are truly helpful and informative.
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