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Politics and History Research Guide

What is a Credible Web Source?

When evaluating a web site, check these basic points:

web content
  • Author – if you cannot determine who is responsible for the content of a website (either an individual or organization), you won't be able to gauge their expertise or relationship to the subject. 
  • Domain – the last segment of the "root" of the URL (for example, will tell you if the source of information is educational (.edu), governmental (.gov), or commercial (.com).
  • Date of creation or revision – it is important to establish that any content containing data, facts or statistics is up-to-date and still relevant.
  • Intended audience – if the content is intended for an academic audience, the website should provide information that can be verified using citations or external links.  
  • Purpose of the information – the ratio of content to advertisement will tell you whether the site is being used to inform readers, or to make money.

Recommended Primary Sources from the Web

There are many historical works in the public domain that can be used as primary sources for research. Use these external resources to find original historical works in full text.

Recommended Web Resources for US History