Websites and their Validity

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills - Evaluating Information on the Web

There are lots of methods for evaluating information on the Internet. They more or less involve similar steps. One method is:

R - Read the URL

E - Examine the content

A - Ask about the author

L - Look at the Links

Did you know spaghetti grows on trees?


Dog Island

Dihydrogen Monoxide

Mechanical Marvels of the Nineteenth Century

California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge

Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Martin Luther King - A True Historical Examination

Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie

Mankato, MN

Mankato, MN

Sellafield Zoo


Genochoice -

RYT Hospital - Dwayne Medical Center

Haggis Hunt


  • Look at the domain and its extension.

  • What is its purpose?

  • Scan the perimeter-look for ads

  • Is it a personal website?

  • Is there a country code?

  • Is it sponsored by a trustworthy organization?

TOOL: Country Codes on the Net

Examine the CONTENT

  • Is the content useful? Understandable? Readable?

  • Is the site up to date? Is it updated?

  • Do the facts mesh with other research you have done?

  • Are sources provided? How has the content changed?

  • Is there a link "ABOUT" on the page?

TOOL: Check it out on the WAYBACK machine.

Ask about the AUTHOR

  • Who wrote it?

  • Can you contact the author?

  • Do they provide credentials?

  • Does the content contain opinions?

  • Who owns the site?

TOOL: Use Easywhois to check on the author.

Look at the LINKS

  • Who links to it?

  • Are the links working?

  • Do they link to reputable sites?

  • Why are they linked?

TOOL: Use the link:command (yahoo, AltaVista, Google):