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Evaluating a website*

So, how do you know if the website you are using is a good website?

There are really specific steps, specific clues to look for, that will assist you in choosing legitimate websites.

Who is the author of this site?

As with any source, it's important to identify the author of a Web site and to become familiar with the author's qualifications. Be skeptical of any Web page that does not identify an author or invites you to contact an unnamed "Web master."

How accurate and objective is the site?

If you are going to cite information found on a Web site, it's important to know whether you can trust the accuracy of the facts (i.e., hard data) under discussion in a particular document. First, determine if the factual information on a Web site can be corroborated elsewhere—through a reference to or citation of a clearly reliable source, for example. A Web site with data that cannot be confirmed should never be trusted, no matter how perfect it might seem for your purposes.

It's also important to understand the Web site's point of view or bias. How clear are its purposes? Does the language used on this site suggest a specific ideology or social or political agenda?...Does the data seem manipulated to serve the ads, or are the ads simply used to fund the site?

What is the site's currency and coverage?

Is the creation date of the document (or of its most recent revision) listed?

Is the information up-to-date or are the resources outdated? 

The fact that Wikipedia* is not a reliable source for academic research doesn't mean that it's wrong to use basic reference materials when you're trying to familiarize yourself with a topic.

*Okay for a general overview and to use the bibliography.  Mrs. G.

*"Evaluating Web Sources." Harvard Guide to Using Sources. A Publication of the Harvard College Writing Program, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.