Henderson’s Tutorial Put to Use

John R. Henderson’s tutorial proves that research is more than knowing how to navigate Google or other search engines. He maps out how to differentiate between reliable websites and the junk.

“The American Cultural History”  appears to be a very solid online source. I noticed that the url was a “.edu” which means that it is from an educational source. The webpage is filled with hyperlinks that bring the reader to the source. Many of the links lead to more “.edu” sites which gives this page more ground. Along with all the hyperlinks there is a great amount of book references and citations, this only adds reinforcement to the web pages credibility. The site has not seen much activity as the last update was over two years ago, but most of the information presented can be traced back to its source. This is an authoritative site because the authors and designer are clearly noted at the bottom of the page. The dean of educational services at Lone Star College designed the page, but it was written by two of the college’s staff.

The 1960’s “History.com” site does not seem like an authoritative webpage. This is a circumstance where we cannot let the name or brand become misleading. My biggest concern with this webpage is the lack of sources. There are no hyperlinks within the text to bring us to the place where the writer got their information. On that note, the author is not even noted on this web page. This is a red flag in my opinion especially if I were going to consider using this site for research. I cannot determine who wrote the text or what their credibility is and for that reason I would not use this site for research.

“The Sixties” web page is an authoritative site because the title “Dr.” recognizes the authors as credible sources at Miami U. Each author specializes in their own field (History, English, Biology) Readers can easily access original sources by navigating the links on the right side of the web page. These links bring the reader to a screen containing a few paragraphs of text, and from that screen there is the option to view the bibliography for each topic.

The Psychedelic Sixties,” did not give me the best impression of a reliable source. Henderson said that you could tell a lot about a sites credibility based off of layout and design. The rainbow color effect does not seem like something a professional web designer would incorporate. The site also as not been updated since December 2009 which leads me to believe the author has neglected this site. There are no authoritative sources or references apparent on any of the links provided. I would refrain from using this web page at all cost.

“The Sixties Project” is not an authoritative site because has the appearance of a homemade web design. The page consists of three main links on the first page (Scholars, Sixties Survivors, and Casual Surfers.) Everything in my gut was telling me not to trust this source because I am not able to find an author of the site. The page has not been updated in over ten years, which is not reassuring. There seems to be a little bit of cited material but not enough to completely trust this site.

The “Flower Power: An American 1960s Movement,” site is not authoritative. The author is no one special and the links provided bring the reader a slew of unreliable sources, except for a few that links back to the Miami U site. The author also does not make it clear where they collected all of their information; there are zero citations and references. Hyperlinks are great but when they are not within the context of the text, the web designer only list hyperlinks after each short paragraph was does not make me feel comfortable using this site for research.

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One thought on “Henderson’s Tutorial Put to Use

  1. Ryan — “History.com” is a pretty authoritative site. In many ways it’s like an encyclopedia site. I take your point about the lack of author’s names, but you could easily check with folks at the site if you wanted specific authors’ names. Steve

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