Searching for Resources | Evaluating the Information | Using Web Resources

Web resources are slightly different than other resources and you have to consider certain things when using them:

Is It Better Than Other Resources?

It's easy to find information on the Web, but it's not always the best information available on a topic. There is a wide range of media that you can use for research, including books, newspapers and magazines, interviews, films and videos, and audio recordings.

The Web is best for shallow research on a broad range of recent topics like current news and trends, new discoveries, and people's opinions. You can also easily find a variety of multimedia for your topic; websites frequently contain many different types, such as images, text, videos, and interactive applications.

In-depth information on older topics can be much harder to find on the Web. You're probably better off exploring other media.

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is when you use someone else's ideas or words without acknowledging them or giving them credit. To avoid plagiarism, you must give the author credit whenever you:

  • Refer to someone's idea or theory
  • Use any facts or statistics that are not common knowledge
  • Use images, graphs, or charts created by someone else
  • Quote or paraphrase (changing around a few words or changing the order of the original author's sentences) another person's words or work

To correctly cite your source, you must also indicate which part of your work is taken from another's. When your source is a website, it can sometimes be tricky to find the information you need to cite it. Learn more about how to correctly cite a website at the Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide. It's also a good idea to get the permission of the site's owner before using their work.

Bookmark and Share Reliable Sites

When you find a site that is a good resource, add it to your Web browser favorites or bookmarks. You never know when you will need it again, and sites you know to be reliable are a great place to start when researching a new topic.

Why not share your resources with others as well? Not only will they be grateful for the help, but they may just return the favor and save you some research work too.

You can even work with a teacher or librarian to set up a list of good Web resources that everyone can use and contribute to.

This is the list that Maya started for the Academy:

Maya's Favorite Web Resources