Student Guide Home

Anatomy of a page

Evaluating for relevance
Authority of a Web page
Evaluating for accuracy

Page types:

Informational pages
News sources
Advocacy web pages
Personal home pages

Web search strategies:

Getting started
Web directories
Search engines 1
Search engines 2
Citing online sources


Informational Pages

Informational pages may be assembled by independent authors, companies, or by government.

Government sites, servers whose domain names usually end with .gov, or .gov + .country code, often provide access to excellent primary documents and related resources. At government sites, it is common to find transcripts of legislation and political speeches, and other forms of official information from various governmental branches, departments, and agencies. Though not all government sites are free of ideologically slanted information and good-natured propagandizing, government sites provide some of the most reliable information on the Web. For a weekly guide to American government sites, see The Great American Web Site.

The informational sites put online by companies and individuals are a bit harder to evaluate. When you encounter sites published by individuals on a commercial ISP (like America Online, Primenet, etc.), it is important to establish the authoritativeness of the information, and scrutinize the author's credentials. With informational sites sponsored by companies, examine the sponsor's home page to determine what the company may have to gain in publishing the information: whether public relations or promotional value.

Examine the four sites below. Which would be reliable sources and why?

Version 1.1
© 1997 Craig Branham
Saint Louis University
Created: 27-March-97
Last Modified: 06-Oct-97

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