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Tutorials: Using Websites

Learn how to use library resources, do research and more!

Fake News


Citing Websites and Web Content

APA Style

Reference List: Electronic Sources (source: Purdue OWL)

Citing Websites (source:

MLA Style

MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (source: Purdue OWL)

Google Searching Tips

When you do use Google, use these tricks-of-the-trade to make your searches more effective and return more relevant results! Find more tips and tricks from Google here:

Quotation Marks " "
Use to search for an exact phrase. Helps make your results more accurate.

 "Servant leadership"

Dashes -
Put before a word to exclude results with that search term.  Helps filter synonyms from your results.

 Congo -river

Tilde ~
Put before a word to include results with synonyms.
Helps include relevant results with alternate terms.

 Legislation ~firearms

Put site: before a URL or domain to search only within that URL or domain. Useful for finding results from a certain site or a type of site (.edu, .gov, etc)

Put link: before a URL to search for sites that link to that URL. Useful for discovering how widely linked a website is.

Two Periods ..
Use between two numbers to indicate a range. Helps return results within a certain date, measurement, or price range.

 Presidents 1860..1900

Put related: before a URL to find sites related to that URL. Useful for finding similar websites on the same topic.

Google Web Search

Evaluating Web Resources

The Internet is full of questionable websites, theories and "facts". It is your responsibility to determine if a website is a viable resource for your research project.

THE CRAAP TEST  - Sarah Blakeslee, librarian at Meriam Library, California State University, Chico created this list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find on the Internet or anywhere else. It is used here with her permission.

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Evaluating Information - Applying the CRAAP Test (PDF)

Here are a couple of well-known "hoax" websites that continue to fool people who don't know about website evaluation techniques.

The dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide -

Save the Endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus -