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History Primary Sources: Evaluation & Citation of Sources

This guide will assist you in finding, evaluating, and citing primary sources.

Evaluating and citing Sources

Evaluate websites by considering the following questions:

Who is responsible for the website?

  • .edu = educational institution
  • .gov = government site
  • .org = organization or association
  • .com = commercial site
  • .museum = museum
  • .net = personal or other site

Who is the author of the site?

  • What are the credentials of the author or organization?
  • Is there a contact address?
  • Is there an "about," "background," or " philosophy" link?

Is there a clear purpose or reason for the site?

  • Does the homepage give information on the purpose of the sponsoring organization?
  • Does the site present a non-biased, balanced approach?

What is the origin of the document?

  • Is it a scanned document?
  • Is it a transcribed document?
  • Are there links to external documents?

Is the content organized and accessible?

  • Are pages legible with clear explanations?
  • Are the navigational aids easy to understand?
  • Are there clear instructions about software requirements?

Is there a fee for use?

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Subject Guide

Lindsey  Crego's picture
Lindsey Crego