Critically Evaluating the Internet

The information found in the internet need to be critically evaluated especially by the researchers to determine the real content and fake ones. However, there are five criteria used to evaluate web pages, and they include the following. First, a person needs to consider the accuracy of the web page. It is important to know the author of the page and also be in a position to contact him or her. That is, the author should leave behind his/her name, the profession and also the email or phone number, and office address.  Additionally, to determine the accuracy of the web page, we should focus on knowing the purpose the information is documented. Why was the document produced? It is also important to look at the qualification of the writer. A person should only consider researching on the articles written by expertise in the relevant fields.

The second criteria involve the authority of the web page. Students should be able to distinguish an author from a website administrator. Similarly, it is important to check if the credentials of the author have been listed. For example, students should know the education background of the author, experience and other writers if any and is working with him/her. Next, it is critical to view the URL of the document to determine the organization that published the document. Also, knowing the location of the publisher is much important. The other most important aspect is how the document has been cited.  A person is required to check if the reference list or bibliography is cited correctly.

The third criterion in web evaluation is the objectivity of web pages. The objectivity of a document comprises the goals to be met by the author. The authors write with the objective of achieving certain goals, and precisely the researcher should ensure the information is detailed.  The objectivity also includes the opinions expressed by the author concerning the ideas written (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009). For example, most authors who write articles on advertisements tend to be bias and provide false information since they are marketing certain products.

The fourth aspect to consider is the currency of the web document. It is important to look at the date when the document was last updated or produced. The links used in the article should also be keenly evaluated to determine if they are working or dead. Sometimes the contents of the page might be outdated; therefore, when researching, a person is advised to use current information. The last criterion is coverage. It involves viewing the information properly on the internet. People would like to use web pages that successfully address and present the arguments well and also provide support for the same. Moreover, it is critical to know if the target group is identified, and the information is appropriate for the researcher’s need. Lastly, the researcher should determine if the source add information to the other materials.

For my case, I have been using the coverage of the web page to evaluate the web content. Most of my work involves research, and it is good if the web page does not limit you to access certain information. Therefore, I find it interesting if there are no charges required to view certain documents. Also, I consider the web pages that support my browser so that I could clearly get the information I needed for my research work. I also, use coverage criterion to evaluate web page putting in mind that the topics are adequately addressed. However, if I find that the information provided is one-sided, then I will consider the author being bias. Using the coverage criterion, I am in a position to explore various sources to obtain different views about the topic. Also, if I find that a page summarizes other sources, then it will force me stick to the original document. The coverage of the web page is also necessary since a researcher can determine the target audience to whom the information is directed.

Similarly, I would be much careful with the objectivity of the web page. It will be good if the page I am searching provide accurate information and the objectives of the articles are met. Also, the web page should have limited advertising because most advertisements are biased with information. Therefore, it is more important to identify carefully any bias the author(s) might have about the source of information. Sometimes author(s) may have a conflict of interests; therefore, it is critical to identify such cases.

It is important that my learners use a web page that has been evaluated critically. Students are supposed to get current information. They should not be subjected to fraud or outdated information. For example, most of the scientific topic are affected by the latest research carried out, hence the information to support the research need to be current. On the other hand, if a person is researching on historical data, he/she might consider the primary sources of information (De Marsico & Levialdi, 2004). Moreover, students are required to get right content or information. Therefore, it is important that the information the students are researching on have clear objectives. Lastly, most sites are for commercial purposes. Therefore, they are friendly and attractive to any user. It is important to give the learners the necessary tools to determine legitimate information.

Learners should be more careful with the information they find on the internet. When using the internet to research, they should find websites using an online database and also they may use subject directory. They are considered high-quality sites since they offer right information that is essential for research. I also, encourage them not to rely on Google and other funny search engines. Similarly, they should examine their information using scholarly articles or books. They are sources that have been reviewed by the various review boards and considered relevant to the people. Also, scholarly articles have been written by experts who have extensive experience in particular fields. Lastly, learners require extensive training to differentiate between content and advertisement. It is important when the learners have critical eyes and minds to see, and read the information on the internet.



De Marsico, M., & Levialdi, S. (2004). Evaluating web sites: exploiting user’s expectations. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies60(3), 381-416.

Greenhow, C., Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. E. (2009). Learning, teaching, and scholarship in a digital age Web 2.0 and classroom research: What path should we take now? Educational researcher38(4), 246-259.

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