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Using the Internet for Assignments and Research

This guide discusses when it is appropriate to use the internet for an assignment or research, and provides some tips for making the most out of your internet searches.

Evaluating websites

Have you heard of the CRAP test?

How do I read the URL?

The main parts of a URL are the domain. the extension and the country code

The domain

A domain name can sometimes provide clues about the quality of information of a site or tell you what a site is about. For example, you might find some information on a website that includes scientific information about climate change. However if the URL is www.climatechangeisfake.com, you would need to consider whether the information on their website is unbiased. 

The extensions

The extension can also includes clues about the type of organisation responsible for a website. Some common extensions are: 

  • .edu - Educational organisation
  • .com - Company (usually .co in the UK)
  • .org - Any organization
  • .gov - Government agency
  • .net - Network

It is a common misconception that .org addresses are exclusively for not-for-profit organisations. This is no longer the case and any organisation whether they are for-profit or not can register a .org website address. 

ExclamationCheck the 'About us' section of a website to find out who is behind the information on any given website. If the owners of the site are not up front about who they are, the information is most likely untrustworthy. 

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