Information Literacy Tutorial: Module 5
Using the Web

Module 5- Explore

Module 5- Glossary Terms

  • Browser: A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia).
  • Internet: A global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of a local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies (Wikipedia).
  • Search Engine: An application that searches for, and retrieves, data based on some criteria, especially one that searches the Internet for documents containing specified words (Wiktionary).
  • URL: The "address" of any particular web page or other element of content on the Internet. The URL includes a Domain Name which is a unique name consisting of a string of alphanumeric characters and dashes separated by periods, that maps to IP numbers. The Top Level Domain (TLD) or Extension identifies an organization, group, or purpose for the site.
  • World Wide Web (WWW): the network of pages of images, texts and sounds on the Internet which can be viewed using browser software. The WWW is a small segment of the much larger Internet. (

Module 5- Theory

This branching mind map shows how you can use comparison and corroboration to evaluate web resources. When you are corraborating you can: verify the author using resources like Google Scholar and Search@UW, look at how the author uses sources, and check their facts and arguments against other sources. When you are using comparison, you can do things like: find other sources (articles and books) on the topic, examine the author's perspective (what are their biases? what is their disposition?), and you can look at the lens through which the author is examining the topic (history, sociology, journalism).

Evaluating Web Results: A Contextual Approach

A contextual approach uses information found in a variety of sources to evaluate the information found in single source. A contextual approach promotes critical thinking by encouraging the researcher to question a source and make “reasoned judgements of information quality” informed by multiple sources.


"Comparison is the examination of the similarities and differences between two or more items. When applied to the evaluation of web sites, comparing means analyzing the similarities and differences in the content of two or more web sites to each other or comparing the content from web sites to other information formats such as newspaper or magazine articles, peer-reviewed journal articles, or scholarly books."


"To corroborate information is to verify it against one or more different sources...Since more information is available and accessible [on the web], this information can be used to verify individual Web sites that may be questionable. The more sources that can be found to corroborate the information, there is a greater probability that the information is reliable.”

Excerpts from:

Meola, M. (2004). Chucking the checklist: A contextual approach to teaching undergraduates web-site evaluation. Libraries and the Academy, 4(3). Retrieved from Project Muse.


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