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History - United States

Guide to United States History Resources


Depending on the purpose of your paper you may use on-line web sources. By applying these five criteria you can decide if they are sources to use. Ask yourself the following questions:

Authority - Is the document author or site sponsor clearly identified? Does the site provide contact information for the author or sponsor?

Objectivity or clear disclosure of advocacy - Is the site's purpose clear (for example, to inform, entertain or persuade). Is the site explicit about declaring its point of view? Does the site indicate whether it is directed toward a specific audience?

Coverage - Are the topics covered by the site clear? Does the site exhibit a suitable depth and comprehensiveness for its purpose? Is sufficient evidence provides to support the ideas and options presented?

Accuracy - Are the sources of information stated? Do the facts appear to be accurate? Can you verify this information by comparing this source with other sources in the field?

Currency - Are the dates included in the website? Is the information current, or at least still relevant for the site's purpose? For you purpose?

Criteria list taken in whole from: Ramage, Bean and Johnson. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing. 5th Ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009: 602.

The Internet is filled with an enormous quantity of information. Remember, search engines only index a small part of the world wide web. To find more results search in a variety of sources.

References and General History Websites