Thomas Paine National Historical Association Collection
Iona College and Ryan Library are proud to be the custodians of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association (TPNHA) Collection.
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Regardless of the type of resource you are examining, always evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the information you find before using it for your research. Use the acronym START to help you do that evaluating. Consider the following when determining the quality of an article or source:
- Is the scope of the page clearly set forth?
- How well does the page cover the ground it intended to cover?
- Does the content reflect the author's knowledge of the subject matter?
- Is the author aware of current trends?
- Is the topic covered in-depth?
- Are bibliographies, works cited, and relevant web links offered?
- What is offered here that cannot be found elsewhere?
Treatment (accuracy, objectivity)
- Is an explanation of the web page's purpose present?
- Is the information presented coherently?
- Are there grammatical errors, misspellings, or typos?
- Is the information accurate?
- Is the information cited properly for verification purposes?
- Is the information objective or is bias evident?
- Is the language neutral, persuasive, or inflammatory?
- Is the information being used to influence the reader and serve the author's purposes?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the author or source of information easily identified?
- Can you verify that the person or organization is who they say they are? Look for a street address and/or phone number.
- What are the author's credentials and expertise?
- Is the publisher or Web site sponsor reputable?
- Has the author published other works on the topic?
- Is the author a scholar in the field or a staff writer/reporter?
- Does the information address your topic?
- Does the information support or contradict your point of view?
- Can this information be used to verify another source?
- When was the information produced or published?
- When was it last updated?
- Are there links which no longer work?
- Is the information still useful regardless of the date of publication?
Form for evaluating a web site or page
Have a question? Stop by or Ask a Librarian.
Adapted from Teaching Information Literacy Skills by P. Iannuzzi, et al; Allyn & Bacon (1999)