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FYSP 127: Race-ing the Environment: Web Sites


  • Currency

    • When was the information published or posted?
    • Has the information been revised or updated?
    • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
    • Are the links functional?
  •  â€‹Relevance

    • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
    • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Accuracy

    • Where does the information come from?
    • Is the information supported by evidence?
    • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
    • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
    • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
    • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
  • Authority

    • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

    • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
    • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
    • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
    • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
  • Purpose

    • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
    • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
    • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
    • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
    • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Google Search Tips

Concept Explanation Example
Phrase search search for an exact phrase (most, but not all, databases use quotation marks) “death penalty”
“standardized test”
“reality TV”
exact match search for only your precise search term and not any synonyms



OR search for records that have any of the words (narrows the search)

homosexual OR gay OR lesbian OR queer

china OR japan OR korea

- exclude records that have the word (narrows the search) advertising -(TV OR television)
stemming google automatically searches all variations of a word for you, but you must type the complete word for this work adolescent [finds adolescent, adolescents, adolescence]
site: limit search to an individual website or domain

site: .edu