Kay G.

asked • 8d

Need help Asap.

Weaving Your Way Through the Web

An excerpt from The Student Research Manual


Introduction

Can you imagine writing a research paper before the invention of the computer and the Internet? No search engines, no quick list of reference links, no instant cutting–and–pasting of famous quotes, or hints on bibliographic style—and no spell check. Students spent endless hours in the library hoping that no one had checked out the sources they needed; then came the task of transferring by hand facts and information onto note cards and source references onto bibliography cards. Once the students had reviewed their notes, prioritized their information, and constructed a thesis statement, they were ready to begin writing. It's easier today. Or is it?


The Internet Age

As a student today, you still must go through the process of locating suitable sources for topics, but the tool has changed. The access of information via the web has made research quicker, and for some people, more interesting. Clicking through potential links instead of paging through volumes of encyclopedias, journals, or indexes can be appealing, and even fun. This, combined with word processing applications that help with revisions, grammar, and formatting, has revolutionized the research process. Unfortunately, this all comes with inevitable pitfalls.


A Source Is a Source, Right?

To many students, any source on the Internet is just that—a source. However, unlike a library or media center, the sources on the Internet often do not follow any criteria regarding quality. Anyone can create and publish a home page on the web. Students must verify the reliability of the source before using it.

As you browse through the Internet, keep an eye on domain extensions at the end of a web address (URL).* A domain provides information about the authority of the source and may also give you a hint about whether the source is biased. For example, if you are writing a paper on the Civil War, look for sites that end in .gov. Here you will find The National Archives, artifact sites, and other U.S. primary source documents. If you want to search for a point of view on a topic, sites that end in .com are often sounding boards for authors and may express a personal perspective.

 

The following is a sample list of helpful domains you may come across on the Internet:


.com – commercial entities

.edu – educational institutions and universities

.gov – reserved for United States government agencies

.net – network resources, usually Internet network providers

.org – nonprofit organizations

.pro – used by professionals such as attorneys and doctors


Hints for Finding the Right Source:

  1. Narrow your topic. Search by key words or categories from your topic.
  2. Too many websites retrieved? Add more specific key words. Too few websites retrieved? Try broadening your topic by entering more general key words.
  3. Is the website up–to–date? Is the content up–to–date? Remember, "date posted" does not mean that was when the content was written. "Date posted" refers to the date the website itself was updated or revised in some way.
  4. Beware of websites with fake or inaccurate information. One way to do this is to bookmark, or mark as a "favorite," three or four distinct sites on your topic. Compare and contrast the information based on up–to–date content, author's credentials, and bibliographic references. Can the references be verified?
  5. Are the links to other documents working? Nonworking links may be a clue that the site is no longer viable and that the information may be outdated.
  6. Is the website you are looking at the "top" of the website? Sometimes a search will take you to a site at any point and the content may lack full context. Go to the top of the website (first page or home page) and read the author's purpose and credentials.
  7. Caution: If you are asked to register in order to use a website, be careful. Some sites have fees. Other sites may ask for personal information that you may not want others to know, such as your address or social security number.
  8. Some websites grow and change daily. Revisit websites to check for new information on your topic.
  9. Websites with poor grammar, misspellings, and disorganized text may have been created hastily and may not be reliable.
  10. Keep a critical eye on domain extensions.

Happy Web Weaving!


*A URL is the full, unique address of a website/web pages/files on the Internet. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

 

Question

What statement provides the BEST summary of the information under the heading "The Internet Age"?

Responses


What statement provides the BEST summary of the information under the heading "The Internet Age"?

Responses

  1. The word processing applications of today make the research process much easier.
  2. The word processing applications of today make the research process much easier.
  3. Research is quicker and more interesting because of the Internet.
  4. Research is quicker and more interesting because of the Internet.
  5. Although research today is made easier because of the web and word processing applications, there are drawbacks.
  6. Although research today is made easier because of the web and word processing applications, there are drawbacks.
  7. It is much easier to do research today by using links on the web than by sorting through volumes of information on paper.


1 Expert Answer

By:

Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.

OR

Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.