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ENG 106 Composition II : Evaluate Websites

Media Bias

Use the chart below to see where various media outlets fall on the opinion spectrum.

Google and Wikipedia

Google and Wikipedia will help you find information on the Internet. Google will find websites for you. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia containing lots of information about many topics. But you need to be careful when using these tools.

Google will just find sites for you. It will not tell you whether or not those sites are accurate, unbiased, or current. Google also cannot tell you whether or not a website is useful to you, for your project. Just because a website comes up in a top ten Google results list doesn't mean that the information is useful for you. You must evaluate web sites before you use any information from them.

Wikipedia can be useful to help you get started finding information. But because anybody can edit a Wikipedia page, you have to take information you find there with a grain of salt. Wikipedia should never be used as more than a starting place for getting some background information, and then only as one of many. Always check Wikipedia facts against what you are finding elsewhere, and never cite Wikipedia entries.

Is This Source Credible?

Use these indicators to evaluating website credibility.  If you don't find indicators of credibility, assume it is not credible. Ask you professor whether sources must be peer reviewed or not. Note: as a college student you should never have to pay for information. If the library does not have what you need, it can most likely be requested.


  • look for an "About Us", "Credits", or "Biography" page to find authors and sources.

  • look for author's contact information and professional affiliations such as a university. 

  • look up authors in WorldCat, Web of Science, or on Amazon to see if they are really an expert.

  • be sure not to confuse the author with the webmaster.

  • some websites, including government or organizational sites, will not list individual authors. In that case, look at the domain suffix for clues. 


  • domain ownership can be informative as to bias or purpose.

  • look up a domain's owner at .

  • the domain suffix (for example, .com) can be an indicator of a website's purpose.

    • A .com suffix denotes a commercial entity. This is the most generic suffix. It does not indicate (or rule out) credibility.

    • A .edu suffix indicates that the website belongs to an educational institution. Be aware that institutions do not always endorse the views published by students or faculty.

    • A .gov suffix indicates a government website. Government agencies publish legislation, census information, tax forms, and other credible resources.

    • A .org suffix denotes a non-profit organization. In actuality anyone can own a .org domain.

  • note that these are not the only domain suffixes in existence; country-specific suffixes can also be useful (.ca,.uk)            


  • is the website educational or a public resource provided by a government or reputable organization?

  • is the website trying to sell something or promote a viewpoint?

  • is the website a hoax or satire?


  • look for updates or revision dates

  • avoid undated or poorly maintained websites