Evaluating Sources

Web Sources

Web Sources

5Ws/1H for Web Sources


⚠ Warning ⚠

Some professors will ask that you not use any general web sources, even ones that seem reliable, for your research. Check with your instructor before you "Google it"!


Website URLs will generally have a suffix at the end that provides clues to what kind of organization posted the content. Some of the most common domain types are:

.com: Commercial sites. .Com sites are usually created by business, or individuals who get their web space from businesses, and are often used for sales purposes.

.edu: Posted by an educational institution. This can include content related to scholarly projects and research centers, but it can also contain student projects, and even personal websites of people affiliated with the school.

.org: Posted by an organization. This often means that the content is posted by a nonprofit organization, but any organization, including political groups and for-profit organizations, can claim a .org site.

.gov: Government websites. City, state, and federal government agencies post on .gov sites. These can generally be treated as reliable, and will provide good sources of information such as demographic and legal data.