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AHS Subject Guides: Reading: 5. Evaluating Web Sources

This guide includes information literacy lessons created to support our Reading program.

5. Evaluating Web Sources

Reading: Literacy Workshop

Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources (updated 1-2019)

  • Information literacy topics:
  • Determining best sources
  • Searching strategies for information
  • Evaluating sources
  • Using technology tools

 

Objective: To learn to find relevant and reliable open web research sources, to evaluate these sources for reliability, and to use appropriate technology tools.

 

1.Go to:

GoogleAmity LibraryFind Online StuffBy Subject GuideReadingLiteracy WorkshopEvaluating Web Sources

 

1.a. Discussion:

The Internet can be like a JUNGLE! Why?

Jungles are…

 

2. Individual Analysis:

Imagine you are looking for information about the issue of potential and actual voter fraud in American elections. You want to know about different kinds of election fraud, where it actually exists or might happen, and what people believe and say about voter fraud.

 

Respond to this statement, in 3 minutes:

“This web resource has been judged to offer credible information that is appropriate for academic research. Find at least 3 reasons to show that this is true.”

 

Skim this web page from top to bottom, left to right, looking for information to show that this site is reliable.  Also OPEN the PDF and look at the report.

The Truth about Voter Fraud

 

3. Discussion:

Evaluation Criteria

  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

 

4. Presentation/discussion

My thesis statement:

“Recent statements from political leaders implying that the American voting system is affected by fraud are inaccurate, and are based on misunderstandings or a deliberate intent to undermine public confidence in the system.”

  • Think of key words...
  • Think of synonyms...
  • Think of the most important terms...
  • Think of terms that might sometimes be too limiting...
  • Use “...” for phrases, ANDs, ORs, and quotes to structure search

 

5. Practice

Search for any web material that is relevant to a topic YOU are interested in.

Fill in information for the W?W?W?W?W? on this Google FORM. The source does NOT have to be reliable; all that matters is evaluating it thoroughly.

 

Where do I find this information:

Who -- Look in and follow-up people and organizations in:

About / Contact / “byline” (credits) / bottom of page / sidebars /

What --  Read and analyze content information in:

Titles / Text / Citations and References

Where --  Look in and follow-up on site and organization information in:

About / Contact / URL / Domain name

Why --  Look in and follow-up on author, site, and organization information in:

Text

When --   Look in:

bottom of page / sidebars / subtitle / “byline” (credits)


 

Additional Resources:

Sample Search Results: Reliable Source

The Brennan Center for Justice: The Truth about Voter Fraud

This report was written by recognized legal experts working for an organization that is part of an important university, that should hold its collaborators to high ethical and research standards.

 

Sample Search Results: Iffy Source

The Heritage Foundation: Voter Fraud is Real.  This Searchable Database Proves It.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative organization, so part of its mission is to promote conservative ideas. The problem with this database is that while it does seem to show specific cases of voter fraud, it does not show that voter fraud is so serious or widespread that it would affect an election, and because of that, it is a little misleading. So HOW facts are presented is important.

 

Sample Search Results: Unverifiable Sources

InfoWars: Democrats Leverage Illegals and Voter Fraud to Put Hillary in the White House

InfoWars, and the host of its radio show, Alex Jones, have been responsible for commentary, some of which looks like reporting, that has been widely shown to be false.  This website, and the radio show, often advance conspiracy theories with no evidence.  There is no board overseeing the reporting, the site is answerable to no one, and much of the material is pure opinion and speculation.

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017