We know that most of you will start your research online (probably using Google), so let's lay down some ground rules for how to evaluate webpages and find credible, reliable, and relevant information.
Anyone can put information on the Internet; therefore, it's important to be skeptical when reading any web-based source. There is no official set of criteria that can tell you a website is credible or incredible, but here are a few questions to ask when you're wondering if you can use a certain web page in your paper/project or not:
There's nothing wrong with a source having a point of view, but you need to be aware of it so you can investigate the other sides. Example: Information on gun control from the National Rifle Association.
Think about your topic and how important recent information is to it. For an art history project , it probably isn't very important. For a paper on genetic engineering or the latest treatment of cancer, it is very important.
This is the ultimate point. But you may not know enough about a topic to judge. Look for solid evidence, such as research studies and statistics. Is there a bibliography orreference list to other sources the author used? These indicate the information is based on research rather than just opinion.
Ease of Use
We have all heard that we should never use Wikipedia as a source in an academic paper. It's true: because Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, it's just not reliable. However...
Wikipedia can be a great place to start your research! It can provide you with extensive background information on a topic, and can lead you in the direction of other quality - and even scholarly - resources.
Check out this site for further information: 4 Ways to Use Wikipedia