Mary T. Conway-- former point guard for the NBA’s Miami Heat – Teaching
NOW at CCP![i]
When I have a question,
my 1st move is to “Google” it. That is, I type some key terms into the very reliable search engine
www.google.com, and wait for the TRUTH to reveal itself.
Well, it’s not
really that easy, is it? Since we are increasingly dependent upon web sources for our information, and since this dependence
saves us time, gas, and shoe leather (not to mention the fact that you can research at 3am in your living room) – we
have to become EXPERTS! The only other option is to be duped repeatedly.
It’s not just a slogan: Knowledge IS power.
Consider: in minutes,
I could put up a web page “documenting” my long and illustrious career in the NBA. The unsuspecting web browser
would see this and remark, “Fascinating! I didn’t know my English professor used to lead the league in assists!”
I didn’t, but the webpage would say otherwise.
is designed to provide you with the tools you need to “suss” out such shenanigans.
First, though, I want
to show you how crucial this is. Obviously, I wasn’t in the NBA. But other lies are more difficult to detect, are often
couched in official language, and hide hateful intent.
these 2 sites:
Would you use this
as a reliable source for information about Dr. King?
Would you use this
as a reliable source for US executive branch news?
that you’re outraged, let’s hone your skills with this excellent University of California at Berkeley webpage
on assessing internet sources.
STEP ONE: Read this guide
(Writing) STEP TWO:
Google, find two promising webpages relating to YOUR TOPIC for the TWO UPCOMING RESEARCH-BASED SPEECHES.
use ENCYCLOPEDIAS of any kind, but especially not Wikipedia. These are too short, shallow and unreliable for college level
Then apply this
checklist (below) to evaluate the webpages, using the checklist.
your 20 answers to Discussion Board folder titled Webpage Assessment, on MyCCP .
copy and paste this list of Qs into your word processor to make it neater.
Write the ENTIRE web
- What type of site is it – what is the ending of the URL? What does that mean for the reliability
of the site?
- Who is the author? What are the author’s credentials? Is the author an institution? Is it an
institution with a suspect agenda?
- Who published the page?
- Does the site have ads? Is the primary purpose of the site to sell you something? If so, does this
effect the site’s veracity?
- When was the site last updated? Is this an automatic update by a webmaster, or has the content actually
- Is there proof of the claims on the page? Does the site reference other sources? Are there live links
to other sources?
- Given your answers to the above questions, is the information reliable?
- What are 2 essential pieces of information you gleaned from the site, which you did not know previously?
- * (Optional) How does the fake MLKing site effect how you read this webpage?
- *(Optional) Use http://alexa.com from the Berkeley
site (above) to assess how much traffic the site receives. How does this knowledge influence your evaluation of the site?
[i] This is not true (although I have broken some ankles with my cross-over). However,
the unscrupulous often will paste a URL as evidence of a claim that has not been supported (for a serious example of this,
see the racist MLKing page above). This public web document may one day be used as “evidence” of a false claim.