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First Year Writing: Web Resources

Using The Internet

The Internet is a valuable tool for writing college-level papers.   Here are some helpful resources for finding reliable resources.

Search Engines

While Google is most often used to search for information on the Internet, there are other search engines that are worth examining.

DuckDuckGo doesn't track your searches.

DogPile gets the best from other search engines.  It is also known as a "metasearch engine."

Bing and Yahoo! are other options.

The CRAAP Test: Evaluating Material from the Web with a Skeptical Eye

Apply the CRAAP test to materials you find on the Internet to be sure you have found appropriate resources.

C: Currency -- When was it published?  Updated?

R: Relevance -- Does the information relate to my topic?  What audience was it written for?

A: Authority -- Who is the creator? Author? Are they qualified? Does the URL tell you anything? (.edu, .gov, .com, etc)

A: Accuracy -- Are there references?  Are there errors? Broken links?

P: Purpose -- Is the information opinion or fact? Scholarly? Biased? Is it balanced?  

Resource Reliability

Sites for Controversial Topics

About Wikipedia


Wikipedia is generally not acceptable as a resource for a research paper.  Here's a Wikipedia article explaining why:

Why Wikipedia is Not So Great

Wikipedia, however, can be a helpful resource - a tool used to jumpstart your research.  The resources listed at the bottom of Wikipedia pages can often be useful.