Unit 3, Looking at Valuable Websites



Objectives for Unit 3

In this unit, you will learn how to determine the characters of a website that is reliable and non-bias. You will know how determine the qualities that make some websites outstanding, some mediocre, and some unreliable.

Identifying Great Qualities


I had mentioned in the previous unit that a .org url is not always reliable. Let's take a minute to reflect. Does a URL clue us in at all about the reliability of a site? It is pretty safe to say that a .gov or .edu is usually a safe bet. Although, you still have to be careful about who is creating the page. If it an official US government website then it is reliable, if it a university website then it is reliabe. There are some exceptions to this; if you see a university address such as www.albany.edu and there is a ~ after the URL then it means that someone created the page from the university but isn't associated with the university. An address may look like www.albany.edu~daniellemelia/wiki this would mean that I put this page up while on a computer at Albany and linked their website to my own website. This can be very sneaky.

Remember that just because it is a .com or .net or .org doesn't mean that it isn't good, it just needs a closer look.


Thinking about what we've learned in Unit 1, look at the following Website

  • Click on Teens Health
  • Click on Infections
  • Click on Colds & Flu
  • Click on Sinusitis
  • Read the article and explore the site a bit, remember to be very observant. Think of yourself in the following scenario:

You are applying for college and need to write a research based essay. You decided to write your paper on the increase of colds in winter. You would like to use this website for your research, but you know that they will be checking your sources. Do you deem this site reliable enough to use as a source?

Take a Look

Kids Health is realiable, non-bias, very useful website. How do I know? Write down the elements that would convince you that my statement is true.

We should explore:

  • Look at the end of the article we read on Sinusitis

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD

Date reviewed: December 2007

Originally reviewed by: Joel Klein, MD

Not only does it give us the date, but it give us the names of the Doctors who reviewed the article with links to their credentials.

  • Scroll to the end of the page and click on Nemours

This is the foundation that created and maintains the site. It gives us a clear picture of the authority who created and is maintaing the site. We do not have to guess at their intentions.


Create a checklist for your classmates to use when evaluating a website. Look back at all the components we have looked at and make sure you include them.

Final Product

Go back to the five websites you looked at in Unit 1. Reevaluate them and critique them. Did your opinion change? As you are evaluating them, list the criteria you find yourself looking for and how you determine the websites worthiness. Switch papers with a friend and evaluate each other's websites, do you come to the same conclusions? If not, debate your answers. Find and list websites that you will be using to gather the information you need for your own website. Remember to keep a record of every source you use and them on your website. Remember these sources will be checked, so when evaluating the sources, make sure you are confident that they are reliable. Use your checklist!


Write a reflection piece on the difference of how you viewed websites prior to taking this class to how you view the importance of website evaluation now. Include the following:

  • How vital do you believe website evaluation is?
  • Do you think there should be certain criteria for someone to put up a website?
  • Do you feel there should be some way to monitor websites? If not, why? If so, how do you think that would be possible?

Ask your classmates how they feel about these topics.