PART I Evaluating Websites

Google Search Results:
1st, 2nd and 3rd Hits are often Paid Advertisements not always relating to your search inquiry. Look for small Ad symbol next to search results.

Next Hits on 1st page are websites that pay Google to move their websites to the very top - are these the best websites for your search out of 1,500,000 hits or more?

Wikipedia - Often first result of search query; Open forum online encyclopedia that anyone can edit/update articles. Use general information to cross reference other reputable websites; Use References at bottom for further research.

what kind of website


Bias & Point of View:
Beware of bias or slant of information - Individuals and groups can have a targeted agenda and present only a one-sided view. Search other websites to cross reference the information presented to get a broader view of a topic or subject.

Contact Information:
-webmaster's name?
-email address?
-phone number?
-street/mailing address?

-Information sounds reasonable, believable? to good to be true? outrageous? bizarre?
-If not familiar with topic/subject area, verify with several websites or with a print reference source.

Up to Date:
-Last Updated? Check top and bottom of webpage. If no date found, information could be suspect.
-Date's Influence on Subject Material Type (Science, History, Engineering, Medicine, Literature, etc.) Old material may or may not be appropriate for your research

-Links are active and not broken ("this page no longer exists" messages)
-Links contain current, usable information that pertains to the original page

Website Practice - Evaluate the following websites:

Practice Website 1

Website Practice 2


Fact: A piece of information presented as having objective reality; knowledge or information based on real occurrences, research studies, data, statistics. Ex: According to the 2010 US Census data, the population of the United States is 304,753,826.

Opinion: A view, judgment or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter; a belief that rests on personal feelings, morals or values. Ex: People who live in the southern states are friendlier and can make the best fried chicken and biscuits.

Bias: Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Ex: Ford trucks sponsor ACC sports, so ACC athletes are not inclined to buy Chevrolet trucks.

Everything on the internet is true, right? Not necessarily - Don't be fooled by "news" stories or information articles that sound real, but are really not.....

Jackalope Conspiracy

Internet "News" Stories

Facebook fake news stories and controversy:

Fact Checking websites for authenticity:

Vetted web sites for Education research:

PART II Primary Sources - Secondary Sources

Primary sources are the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include but are not limited to: letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, maps, speeches, interviews, documents produced by government agencies, photographs, audio or video recordings, born-digital items (e.g. emails), research data, and objects or artifacts (such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons). These sources serve as the raw materials historians use to interpret and analyze the past.

In contrast, a secondary source of information is one that was created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions you're researching. For the purposes of a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles often written from information gleaned from primary sources.

  • information from Library of Congress ( and American Library Association (

PART III Digital Footprint - Internet Safety - Digital Ethics

Tech Tools and the New Landscape

Digital Footprint is the "trail" that you leave behind whenever you are online on the internet that can be traced back to you and your computer.

Passive Digital Footprint:
-Unknowlingly putting personal information/preferences on the web. Website/web browser remembers websites visited and your searches for products/information (cookies). This log of websites previously visited is often used by retailers and advertisers to focus ads on your screen when you search the internet later.
-Malware can also be downloaded onto your computer by visiting certain websites or clicking on links which download programs you are unaware of (phishing). These malware programs can log every keystroke, username, password, website, frequency, duration, time of day, etc. Hackers/criminals often use your computer's IP (Internet Protocol) address to trace back to your computer and its location within a network. They can pair your assigned IP address with your modem or router, and then search the internet service provider for the location of that modem and your home/office address and location.

Active Digital Footprint:
-Knowingly putting your personal information out on the internet. Examples: Facebook, twitter, snapchat, instagram, texting, etc. Text, pictures and video that you post online can be downloaded by others, saved and shared by anyone over and over again. How will they use it? Even when you erase your online information, it is still out there forever saved on someone else's computer or smart phone. Risks and responsibilities of relationships on the internet (dating, marriage, breakups)

-Who cares? Family members, college admissions directors, future employers, future friends, spouses, hackers, criminals. What will they do with your online postings years later? How will it affect your life? How do you want to represent yourself/family online?

Internet Safety

-It's OK, nobody knows who I really am because it's just on the internet, right? Wrong! Online relationships can leave you vulnerable - reputation, sexually, financially, emotionally. The anonymity of the internet can be very dangerous (Cyberbullying, Hate Speech, Sexting, Financial Theft, Vandalism)

- Online behavior and ethics - What you can do with technology versus What's the right thing to do with technology

-Now let's watch this short video clip to see how safe you really are on the internet:

Online Safety Video

Digital Ethics

- Online behavior and ethics ----> What you can do with technology versus What's the right thing to do with technology
Discuss cyber bullying, hacking, phishing

Cyber Bullying Video 1

Cyber Bullying Video 2


PART IV Plagiarism - Citing Sources - Bibliography

What is Plagiarism?
Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

But can words and ideas really be stolen?
According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words (paraphrasing) but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. See our section on citation for more information on how to cite sources properly.

Plagiarism Checker 1

Plagiarism Checker 2

Citing Sources and Copyright:

What is citation?

A "citation" is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source and is copyrighted by someone else. It is the legal and ethical dimension of respecting creative work. Copyrighted ideas can include text, video, music, art, design. It also gives others the information necessary to locate that source again, including:

1. responsible person/organization/agency
2. title of the work/article
3. title of the website
4. website publisher/sponsor
5. date posted/published on the internet
6. date accessed
7. complete URL address (http://www.__)

1. information about the author
2. the title of the work
3. the name and location of the company that published your copy of the source
4. the date your copy was published
5. the page numbers of the material you are borrowing

1. name of author/authors
2. title of article (in quotation marks)
3. name of the magazine/journal
4. volume and number
5. date of publication
6. page(s) cited

Why should I cite sources?

Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:
  1. citations are extremely helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and where they came from.
  2. not all sources are good or right -- your own ideas may often be more accurate or interesting than those of your sources. Proper citation will keep you from taking the rap for someone else's bad ideas.
  3. citing sources shows the amount of research you've done.
  4. citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.

Doesn't citing sources make my work seem less original?

Not at all. On the contrary, citing sources actually helps your reader distinguish your ideas from those of your sources. This will actually emphasize the originality of your own work.

When do I need to cite?

Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:
    1. whenever you use quotes
    2. whenever you paraphrase
    3. whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
    4. whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
    5. whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.

Listing References

What's a Bibliography?

A bibliography is an ordered list of all of the sources (citations) you have used in the process of researching your work.
Use the Citation Maker link below from to create your citations and make your bibliography:

Citation Maker

Part V Copyright - Fair Use - Creative Commons

Copyright and Fair Use

Using Google Images: copyright implications

Copyright laws exist to protect our intellectual property. They make it illegal to reproduce someone else's expression of ideas or information without permission. This can include music, images, written words, video, and a variety of other media.
At one time, a work was only protected by copyright if it included a copyright trademark (the © symbol). According to laws established in 1989, however, works are now copyright protected with or without the inclusion of this symbol.
Anyone who reproduces copyrighted material improperly can be prosecuted in a court of law. It does not matter if the form or content of the original has been altered -- as long as any material can be shown to be substantially similar to the original, it may be considered a violation of the Copyright Act.

Copyright-Fair Use Guidelines Chart.pdf
Copyright-Fair Use Guidelines Chart.pdf
Copyright-Fair Use Guidelines Chart.pdf

----> Watch and discuss DVD "Copyright or Wrong" by NCDPI [using digital media in student projects and presentations]

Creative Commons:

What is Creative Commons?

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

What can Creative Commons do for me?

If you want to give people the right to share, use, and even build upon a work you’ve created, you should consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license. CC gives you flexibility (for example, you can choose to allow only non-commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified.
If you’re looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are hundreds of millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic material — available to the public for free and legal use under the terms of our copyright licenses, with more being contributed every day.

  • All information from,,