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Resources on the World Wide Web
While the World Wide Web is a good place to find information, let's face
it -- it is far from perfect. At times, you are better advised to consult a good
encyclopaedia. However, if you know what you need and why you need it and are prepared to
first evaluate resources you find on the web, by all means use the web to supplement your
Here are some things to consider when you do research on the Web:
Have a plan. Your plan must answer these (and other) questions. What are
you trying to do in your web search (eg gather subjective information or gather objective
information)? What is your own output to be (eg a research paper, statistical analysis, a
summary of public opinion)?
It's been said that the World Wide Web is like a big library with all of
the book-shelves pushed over and the books scattered around the room. Search engines may
help you find tid-bits of useful information, but, for the most part, you'll have to
employ your investigative skills to come up with really valuable information. In the end,
you may have to go to the local library to send off an inter-library loan request.
The Web is probably "50% junk" (and I am really guessing
here)! If you find something on the web, be sure to evaluate the site, the author and the
information itself. Was the site produced by an academic or scholarly organization? Has
the author published in the print media as well as on the web? Do any printed publications
supplement the information on the web site?
Does the site include a street address, phone number and email so that
you can request clarification or additional supporting materials?
Is the site well-written (including correct spelling and grammar)?
Careless writing is an indication of careless preparation and analysis.
Does the site provide sound analysis or simply express opinions?
Is the site easy to navigate -- down related pages, up related pages,
laterally across related pages? Is the site thoughtfully organized into subject areas? Do
hyperlinks connect related ideas in other sections of the site? Does the site have an
index, table of contents and a search utility?
Does the site provide links to other web sites that may include
Remember to always cite your sources. You must include the precise URL,
date you accessed the page, exact titles of the page and the complete paper, author's
name, date the page was published and date the paper was published .
The Scarboro Heights Record V10