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ENGL 095: Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information On The Internet

Finding information on the internet can seem like a pretty easy task.  Just plug a few keywords into Google and click search, right?  While it may be true that access to information can be instantaneous, what we're looking for in scholarly/academic research and writing is the RIGHT information.  Sometimes it's difficult to tell what "good" vs. "bad" information is.  But there are a few ways to help you navigate your way around.





Popular vs. Scholarly Information


Popular publications such as the ones you might see in a grocery store check out line or magazine rack at the local bookstore are perfectly suitable for leisurely reading or staying informed about current events, but for academic research and writing, we will want to dig a little deeper.  This is where our library databases come in handy.  By exploring and getting familiar with just a few of the online resources available through the library, you can apply some basic research techniques and research like a pro. 

Some concepts to consider when looking for scholarly information:

  • Be mindful of domain names-i.e. .com, .net, .org. .edu, etc....
  • Choose background information carefully and be careful of sources emanating from a .com domain.
  • Understanding peer review-simple idea...scholarly work is "refereed" by a panel of other scholars or practitioners in the field
  • Find an article (or book) that pertains to your topic and do some critical reading.  Look for keywords or terminology that comes up often.  This will help with finding reliable resources.