Website EvaluationCompiled by Mrs. Gruenthal, Library Media Teacher
"Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly."
-----Roger Ebert

Why should you evaluate webpages?
Anyone with a computer can put up a webpage. You do not know who they are, or if they are qualified to talk about the subject you are researching. Before you use a website, look to see who is sponsoring the page. If you can't figure out who has produced it, don't use it.

Website Evaluation Video


Use this form to evaluate 5 websites. Look for at least one detail that gives the site credibility and one detail that discredits the source.

Hoax Sites:
Jennifer Anniston Makeover
Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide
Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs
Do Cats always land on their feet?
Dog Island
The Jackelope Conspiracy
Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency
The First Page of the Internet
Improbable Research
The Ova Prima Foundation
California's Velcro Crop Under Challenge
This Page Intentionally Left Blank
Mankato, Minnesota
Moonbeam interprises
Republic of Cascadia
Sasquatch Militia
Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Scary Sites (By "scary" I mean really misleading if used for a report):
All about Explorers
Dihydrogen Monoxide
Institute for Historical Review
Jacopo di Poggibonsi

Summary of The CARS Checklist for Research Source Evaluation
Use this form to evaluate the websites for your research assignment

trustworthy source, author’s credentials, evidence of quality control, known or respected authority, organizational support. Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.

up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive, audience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.

fair, balanced, objective, reasoned, no conflict of interest, absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.

listed sources, contact information, available corroboration, claims supported, documentation supplied. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (find at least two other sources that support it).

More on Website Evaluation:
Evaluating Web Pages UC Berkeley
Internet Detective
Museum of Hoaxes
Online Safetey Tips
Media Awareness Network Test your Website judgement with this interactive tutorial.
Ten Questions for Fake News Detection

Bottom Line: Is the web page as good (or better than) what you could find in journal articles or other published literature that is not on the free, general web?

Fact Checking Sites
Snopes is that e-mail a hoax?
Truth or
Urban Legends

Online form for Evaluating Websites: 21st Century Information Fluency
Kathy Schrock's Guide
McDougal Littel Class Zone