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HIST 4433/5433 Historical Methods

An examination of research methods and historical writing.

Websites

Using the Web

Many resources are available on the open web. See our tips for evaluating websites and lists of relevant societies.

Sociological Associations

Historical Associations

Read Websites Critically

Anyone can publish anything on the internet.

Use the Spider Method to ensure that your internet sources are appropriate for your research.

Source

Who wrote the information? Is he qualified? If you can’t find an author, you shouldn’t trust the information until you verify it elsewhere.

Purpose

Why does this website exist? Is it intended to sell a product or convince readers of something? Can you detect any bias?

Information

Is the information current? Check for a publication date. If there isn’t one, you need to verify currency with another source.

Domain

Be aware of the host site. Is the domain .edu or .gov? These domains sometimes have more authoritative or reliable information.

Educational

Who is the intended audience? Is there adequate depth to the information? Are you sure it’s not a hoax site or satire?

Reliability

Is the same information available on other websites? Triangulate with other sources to improve the chance of getting complete or accurate information.

Research Librarian