Alan November's Get REAL from Web Literacy for Educators

1. Read the URL
  • Do you recognize the domain name?
  • What is the extension in the domain name?
  • Are you on a personal page? (name, ~, %)

2. Examine the content
  • Is the information on the website useful for your topic?
  • Are additional resources and links provided? Do the links work?
  • Is the site current? Do you know when it was last updated?
  • Do you think the information is accurate?
  • Does the information contradict information you have found elsewhere?

3. Ask about the author and owner
  • Is the author's name provided?
  • Is there a contact person, an address, or e-mail address provided?
  • Is there any biographical information provided about the author?
  • Does the author seem knowledgeable? Is her or she an expert in the field?
  • What kinds of results do you see when you do a search on the author's name?

4. Look at the links

Forward Links - links from your website to a page on another website (hover over the link with your cursor to find out the URL; example)
  • What are the URLs of the forward links?
  • Do the domain names change? If not, the information may be biased?
Backward Links - links from another website to pages on your site (use the link: command in Altavista, i.e.; if it doesn't work, try shortening the web address)
  • Who is linked to the Web site?
  • Why are they linked?
  • What do other sites say about the material on the site?