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Evaluating Sources Introduction Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources

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1 Evaluating Sources Introduction Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources
Types of Web pages Talk About It Your Turn Tech Tool in this presentation Author Search

2 Introduction How is writing a research paper like being a judge?
You have to judge each possible source of content to see if it contains information that is good to use in your paper.

3 Introduction As you research, you have many sources of information to choose from, such as newspaper and magazine articles books Web sites video and audio clips experts

4 Introduction You have to evaluate each source that you find to see if you should use it in your work. Can I trust this source? This means reading and thinking carefully about how trustworthy your source is whether the source answers your research question The 4 R’s can help you make smart choices that will be useful for your work.

5 Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources
Relevant A source is relevant if it relates to your narrow topic. It provides specific information that answers your research question. If your topic is about the first home computer, which of these sources would be more relevant? a book called Learning HTML Coding to Create Webpages by Marc Smith an interview with Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers

6 Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources
Recent A source is recent if it contains the latest information about a topic. Even if you are researching an event from history, you still need the most current information available. If you want to write about how new video games are created, which would be a better source? a Web page titled “YOYO Games, Gamemaker 7.0” a newspaper article from 1999 on video-game design

7 Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources
Representative A source is representative if it explains different viewpoints on a controversial topic. You never want to present only one side of an argument in your work. Which of the following sources would be more representative for a paper about endangered species? a study on current threats to animal species by an international wildlife organization an advertisement for a big-game hunting safari

8 Using the 4 R’s to evaluate sources
Reliable A source is reliable if it includes accurate and objective information. To find accurate information, look for well-respected publishers or authors who are experts in their field. For information on acne treatments, which source is likely to be more reliable? a Web page created by a dermatologist, a doctor who treats skin problems a commercial for the newest product that claims to prevent acne

9 Tech Tool: Author Search
You might need to find out more information about the author of a Web site to know if he or she qualifies as an expert. There are several ways to do this. Look on the Web site. Sometimes Web pages offer more information about the author. Look for headings or links such as About and Who Am I? or click the Home button.

10 Tech Tool: Author Search
If an link is provided on the Web site, another option is to send an to the author to ask for more information about his or her experience and education. Be polite and explain to the author why you need this information.

11 Tech Tool: Author Search
Another way to find information about a Web page’s author is to enter the author’s name into a search engine, putting the name in quotation marks. This will help you determine how the author is viewed on other Web sites. Examine the results you receive. Does your search suggest that the Web page author is a recognized expert on your topic? Does your search make you think the Web page author might be giving false information?

12 Tech Tool: Author Search
Here is a funny example about the “dangers” of the chemical DHMO, also known as water, or H2O.

13 Tech Tool: Author Search
Here are the results of a Google search for Tom Way, the author of the DHMO Web site. Often you can form an opinion by studying the results carefully. At first the author seems pretty reliable because he’s a professor. When I look more closely, I see that he’s a professor of computer science. I realize that he is probably not the most reliable source of information about chemicals.

14 Types of Web pages One common way people find sources is by using the Internet. How do I know whether this is a reliable source? How do I know whether this information is accurate? Unfortunately, no one checks information for accuracy before it is posted to the Internet. When you are trying to decide whether a Web page is reliable, it helps to know what type of page you are viewing.

15 Types of Web pages There are five basic types of Web pages:
personal home pages advocacy pages commercial pages informational pages news pages

16 Types of Web pages Anyone can create a personal home page. They are used for many purposes, such as sharing family pictures or giving information about the author’s favorite charity. You’ll usually be able to pick out a personal home page by examining the URL (Web address). If it contains a tilde (~), a backslash (/), or both, followed by a person’s name, it’s usually a personal home page.

17 Types of Web pages This personal home page focuses on a family’s pets and the interests of each family member.

18 Types of Web pages Advocacy Web pages are posted by organizations. They want to give you information about the organization’s beliefs and activities. Keep in mind that some of the information on an advocacy page might be biased—it might represent only one viewpoint.

19 Types of Web pages Commercial Web pages are created to sell products.
They use advertising techniques targeted at a specific audience to persuade people to buy what they are selling.

20 Types of Web pages Informational Web pages are created to provide information for users. Many informational sites are published by universities or the government. Look for .edu or .gov in the URL.

21 Types of Web pages News Web pages are created to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of current events. They are provided by media sources such as newspapers, magazines, and television networks.

22 Research Tip Reading carefully
You can find accurate and reliable information on any of the five types of Web pages. However, when you conduct research, you will usually use informational and news Web pages. Even these Web sites are not guaranteed to be free from error or bias, though. Always read the content carefully to make wise decisions.

23 Research Tip The Internet
The Internet is a good source of information. It contains more good information than false information. However, you need to be cautious so you can recognize when you are being misled. If you read and think carefully, you’ll be able to judge whether the information provided is correct.

24 Talk About It Look at the following Web site and use the presented information to discuss the questions provided. This site was created by teachers for students to use. What lesson do you think they want their students to learn? What type of site do you think this is? What are some clues that make you think that? Evaluate the information provided. Do you think this is reliable information? Why or why not?

25 Your Turn Say your research topic is “Characteristics of Labrador Retrievers.” Read some of the information on the American Kennel Club Web page. Use the site to answer the questions on the following slide. Think about whether this site is a good source.

26 Your Turn Is this site relevant? Does it provide specific information about your topic? Why or why not? Is this site reliable? Is it written by experts? How can you tell?

27 Your Turn Is the site representative? Does it explain different viewpoints about your topic? Why do you think so? Is the information recent? How could you find out?

28 Your Turn I think this site is/isn’t relevant because:
I think this site is/isn’t reliable because: I think this site is/isn’t representative because: I think this site is/isn’t recent because:

29 Your Turn: Possible Responses
I think this site is relevant because it is all about my topic, Labrador retrievers, and their characteristics. I think this site is reliable because it was created by the AKC. That is the organization that certifies purebred dogs. I think this site might not be representative. This organization is an advocate for people who breed purebred dogs. I can’t tell if the site is recent. There’s no date in the information. I could explore the site further and look for more information.

30 The End

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