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AHS Subject Guides: History: Rainey

This guide includes print and online resources for History/Social Studies: Courses include: American Government, US History, Critical Issues, Geography, Law and Justice, Multiculturalism, World History.

Rainey: Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources

Todd Rainey

World History (9th Grade)

Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources

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 the activity guide online at:

Amity website→High SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online Stuff→By Subject→History→Class Projects →Rainey→World History→Swing Youth Movement

2. Skim this article:

Reich Ministry of Justice Report on the Emergence of Youth Cliques and Gangs and the Struggle against them

Look at the organization that published the article:

German Historical Institute


3. Respond to this statement:

“This article is reliable and appropriate for research. Find at least 3 reasons to show that this is true”.

4. Share reasons why this website is appropriate for research (why the information here can be trusted). Discuss the evaluation criteria.

5. Brainstorm and list various search terms from a topic phrase.

“The swing music youth movement in Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a counterpoint to the Hitler Youth movement.”

  • Think of key words or recognized phrases specific to the topic

  • Think of synonyms

  • Think of the most important terms

  • Think of terms that might sometimes be too limiting

  • Use “...” for phrases, ANDs, ORs, and parenthesis to structure search


6. Now do your own search for a reliable research site, identifying the following information on this form to evaluate your sources.


Evaluation Criteria

  • Who created it? Is this person (or organization) a qualified, reputable, expert? Is she authoritative (reliable)?

  • What is the information like? Is it accurate, giving complete coverage, well-written, well-organized? Does it cite its sources? Are those sources reliable?

  • Where is the information from? Where is the site stored? Remember that just having a page stored in a university does not mean the university backs your information.

  • Why was the information or site created? Was the goal to present information objectively in a balanced way? If it aims to convince, does it address different points of view? Do the presenters have an identifiable political, ideological, or commercial goal that might slant their information?

  • When was it created? Is it current? (sometimes currency/recent is not important)

  • Conclusion: reliable for your purpose?  YES/NO?


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