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HIST 4950

History Seminar - Ancient History in Film. Dr. Byrd

Evaluating Website Endings

Look at Domain Name

  • You can tell a lot about a website from the domain name like .org, .edu, .gov, or .com


General Guidelines for Credibility


Typically Most Credible: .edu and .gov

  • As a general guideline, you will want to find primary sources or information that come from websites that end with the .edu or .gov domain name. These websites will be generated by educational institutions or governmental institutions and are usually the most trustworthy. 


Requires More Investigation: .org

  • Websites that end with .org require a bit more evaluation to determine whether they are trustworthy. Anyone can create a website that ends with .org. 


Probably Avoid: .com

  • Websites that end with .com are business or commercial in purpose and may display more bias and be less trustworthy than the above examples.  


Website Owner

Who owns the website?

  • Look at how qualified the website owner is 
    • Education sites
    • Museums
    • Governments


  • Would they want to persuade you to do something or buy something?
    • Social media
    • Companies
    • Nonprofits - Are they trying to get you to donate money or change beliefs?

Example: Reliable information on classroom iPad use would be more likely to come from the National Education Association instead of Apple, which would want you to pay for their products. 

The more qualified a website is, and the less interested they are in persuading you to do something, the more likely they are to be authoritative.