Reading: Literacy Workshop
Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources (updated 1-2019)
Objective: To learn to find relevant and reliable open web research sources, to evaluate these sources for reliability, and to use appropriate technology tools.
Google→Amity Library→Find Online Stuff→By Subject Guide→Reading→Literacy Workshop→Evaluating Web Sources
The Internet can be like a JUNGLE! Why?
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.
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.”
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:
When -- Look in:
bottom of page / sidebars / subtitle / “byline” (credits)
Sample Search Results: Reliable Source
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 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.
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.