Depending on the purpose of your paper and your professor's guidelines, you may use online web sources. By applying these five criteria you can decide if they are appropriate to use. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is the document author or site sponsor clearly identified?
Does the site provide contact information for the author or sponsor?
2. Objectivity or clear disclosure of advocacy
Is the site's purpose clear (for example, to inform, entertain or persuade)
Is the site explicit about declaring its point of view?
Does the site indicate whether it is directed toward a specific audience?
Are the topics covered by the site clear?
Does the site exhibit a suitable depth and comprehensiveness for its purpose?
Is sufficient evidence provides to support the ideas and options presented?
Are the sources of information stated?
Do the facts appear to be accurate?
Can you verify this information by comparing this source with other sources in the field?
Are the dates included in the website?
Is the information current, or at least still relevant for the site's purpose? For you purpose?
Criteria list taken in whole from: Ramage, Bean and Johnson. The Allyn and Becon Guide to Writing. 5th Ed. customized for Marquette University. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009: 602.
Try these to get more specific or broader results
• Use a * to include forms or variants of words in your search
• Example: type test* to search for test, testing, tests
Adding a ~
• Adding a tilde (~) to your search term will return related terms.
• Example: ~nutrition will search also nutrition, food and health
Adding a -
• Adding a negative (-) to your search term will take away that term in your search.
• Example: Pets -cats will not find web sites that focus upon cats as pets.
• By inserting quotes around an exact phrase, you will search only the words you type in, in that exact order with no words in between term.
• Example: "consumer product chemistry"
• Using AND, OR, NOT can broaden or narrow a search depending on your inquiry. "AND" will give you results that contain both words. "OR" will give results about either word and "NOT" will not search the term preceding.
• Example: Summer AND Flower, Summer OR Flower, Summer NOT flower