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Communication 103: Evaluate your search results

Library research help for students preparing speeches for Communication 103


Assess and evaluate the resources and information you found in your search.

Evaluating Web Resources

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.

Evaluate articles for relevance