LIS 2004 Evaluate Webpage for Currency and Relevance to Thesis

LIS 2004 Evaluate Webpage for Currency and Relevance to Thesis


In this presentation we will discuss evaluating
a webpage for currency of the information and relevance to a thesis. This presentation
will help you prepare for the web sources module evaluation activities.
Let’s return to the nuclear power web page we first saw in the evaluating author and
website agenda presentation [Part 1] and examine the currency, or date of publication, of the
webpage. Sometimes a web page will have a publication
date listed. On this page it says updated June 2011. Remember that your thesis guides
you on how old or new you need your sources to be. Use your best judgment when examining
the date of your sources. What do you do if there’s not a publication date given for a
web page? Again, that shouldn’t mean you automatically
pass on this as a source. Look for clues within the text that may let you know a time frame
for the information. You may have a list of references at the end of the page. Are they
up to date or not? Does the page refer to current or older events in the news? Do links
on the page work or are they broken? This is a clue as to whether or not the owner has
kept the page up-to-date. There are many other ways besides publication date to get clues
about currency. If this page had not given us the June 2011
date, we can look for dates in the text like 2000, 2001, and 2007. The information is as
current as at least these three dates. In an activity, when I ask you the questions: • Is the information on the site too old
to be useful? and … • Why or why not? An answer for this webpage might be: The information is not too old to be useful
because the web page was last updated in June 2011 and refers to information from 2000,
2001, and 2007. Now, let’s look at the relevance to the thesis.
Keep in mind that a thesis statement may have several parts. Most of the time you will not
find a web page that addresses all parts of the thesis. Let’s look at a sample thesis
that relates to this webpage: Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants
are one of the largest contributors to global warming, therefore a greater emphasis on cleaner
alternative sources of energy are needed to control increasing global temperatures.
Now, let’s talk about the content of the webpage again. What does this page cover? Mainly, global
warming changes and emissions from electricity production. It doesn’t deal with the second
part thesis dealing with an emphasis on cleaner alternative energy to control rising temperatures. So if I ask you the questions: • Does the information on this page support
some aspect of the thesis? and … • Explain which aspect and how the webpage
supports it. The answer might look like this: The web page supports the part of the thesis
stating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants are one of the largest contributors
to global warming by providing data on the current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
due to coal burning for electricity and the projected increases. Finally, let’s discuss choosing whether or
not to use this webpage to support the thesis. This is where the evaluating techniques you
learned from all the presentations come together and you give me your opinion. On activities
you will see the questions: • Should you use this webpage to support
the thesis? and … • Why or why not? For this web page you can answer: Yes. Although the web page is from a group
supporting nuclear power and may be biased against other forms of power, it provides
fairly recent information with references that support one part of the thesis. I could
use this with other sources on the need for alternative forms of energy to support the
other part of the thesis. So, this is the web page evaluation process.
If you have any specific questions please contact me.

Author: Kevin Mason

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