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St. Louis History: TOECAP

Examples

This first link is to a Buzzle article. Do you think this is an appropriate source for your project? Who is writing the article? What are their qualifications? Is there bias present?


The following is an excerpt from the site:

"I think everyone in the world knows, that most immigrants coming to the US come from Mexico. Mexico has low economy and a high population. The country is still engaged in a war with various Mexican drug cartels which kills more than 80,000 people every year. The US on the other hand has a powerful economy with more number of jobs and a safe environment which attracts Mexican residents to come here."
Is the grammar even correct? Is the tone of the article scholarly? Why should you believe what the author is saying?

Examples

The following link is from the Library of Congress. In what ways is it different from the Buzzle site? Is the presentation professional looking? Does the information seem thorough and presented in a fair manner? What purpose does the Library have for presenting this information?

Website Evaluation

School projects require the use of scholarly sources. This is why many teachers don't allow Wikipedia and other non-scholarly sites. The sources you use should be appropriate, well researched, unbiased books or websites. Your sources MATTER and reflect the work you put in to your project. With that in mind, you should be evaluating each and every source you use. You can use the following TOECAP criteria:

  TRUSTWORTHY? Ask yourself:
- Is the information on the site reliable?
- Who created the site?
- Are "they" well-known?
- Should you trust "them"?
- Where did "they" get their information?

OBJECTIVE? Ask yourself:
- Is the site objective (based on facts only) or subjective (expresses an opinion)?
- Who created the site?
- Do "they" have any reason to be biased about this information?
- What is "their" perspective based on?

ENOUGH? Ask yourself:
- Does the site have enough information for you? Or just a sentence or two?
- Does it have too much information? Do the details overwhelm you/slow you down?
- Is it easy to find information on the site?
- Is it easy to navigate around the site?

CURRENT? Ask yourself:
- How recent is the information on the site?
- When was the site last updated? Does it even tell you?
- Is the "Last Updated" date closer to 1909 or 2009?

ACCURATE? Ask yourself:
- Does the info on the site seem right to you?
- Does the information make sense?
- Can you find the same information/facts on a different site?
- Does it seem like someone edits the site or are there spelling/grammer errors?

PURPOSE? Ask yourself:
- What's the purpose of the site?
- Who created the site and why?
- Why do "they" want you to visit the site?
- Are "they" just presenting information or are "they" trying to convince you of something?
- Are they making money from this site in any way? (advertisements, etc.)