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


Advocacy pages

Political and social advocates have found the Web to be a cost-effective way to disseminate information about their causes of choice. "Advocates" are people who have mostly made up their minds about a particular issue, and believe in their ideas strongly enough to work with like-minded people to change public policy. As a result, advocacy literature is rarely even-handed in its treatment of issues. Advocacy Web sites should be treated as ideological infomercials, and not, as advocates often claim, as "public education."

While the information presented in advocacy pages is slanted by definition, advocates are often the only people who care enough about particular issues to thoroughly investigate them. At times, political groups are the only source for certain kinds of news and information. Yet, it is always important to keep in mind that while advocacy groups are quick to find fault with "mainstream" sources, they will be less likely to critically evaluate information that suits their particular view of the world.

Note that advocacy groups are often considered non-profit organizations. If the group has its own domain name, it will usually end with .org.

Take a look at these advocacy pages. What useful information do they provide? How should you use this information?

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

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