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Evaluating Internet Sources Using the Aacco Criteria

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Evaluating Internet Sources Using the AACCO Criteria

One of your primary goals when finding sources for your paper is to find those sources that are reliable; this means that you are looking for sources that are honest, accurate, and credible. If you use a web page that was designed by a 16 year old, you can bet that the information will not be very credible. As a result, your readers will look poorly upon you, the writer, and think that you are uninformed about your topic.

When looking on the Internet, you can bet your bottom dollar that there are some pretty lousy sources out there since anyone can post an internet site.

As you come across Internet sources you may want to use in your paper, you should evaluate whether they are credible by considering AACCO (Accuracy, Authority, Currency, Content & Structure, and Objectivity) and answering the below questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should be submitting thorough answers to these questions for two internet sites that you will use for your paper (along with PART A of your essay). This should be submitted in the Unit 2 Dropbox for PART A.

ACCURACY: Web sites should maintain a professional look by eliminating spelling errors. Facts should be supported by a reference to an original source (they should be cited). A page full of spelling errors lowers a web site's credibility.

1. Can you find any spelling or grammatical errors?

2. Is the information reliable and error-free?

3. Is there an editor of the site or someone who verifies/checks the information?

AUTHORITY: To include web resources in papers, there must be a way to tell if the author or organization responsible for the site is reliable. It is important to check who is responsible for the information on a web page. If it is a reliable source then it is more likely that the information on the page will be accurate (e.g., .gov or .edu sites).

1. Is there an author? Is the page signed?

2. Is the author qualified? Is the author an expert?

3. Who is the sponsor of the site?

4. Is the sponsor of the page reputable? How do you know this?

5. If it is sponsored by an organization, is there a link to the organization's home page? Does the home page explain the purpose and goals of the organization?

6. If the page includes neither a signature nor indicates a sponsor is there any other way to determine its origin?

HINT: If the page has neither an author nor a sponsoring organization, it may not be a reliable source.

CURRENCY: It is important to check the currency of the information on a web page. If the web page has



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