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HON 101 (Rhetoric: Critical Communication): Authority is Contextual

This guide provides an introduction to research for students in HON 101.

PLNU composition courses use The St. Martin's Handbook as a guide to research.

Pg. 215-216: Evaluating usefulness and credibility of sources

Pg. 218-219: Source Map: Evaluating web sources

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Evaluating Websites

Consider Quality...

These principles of web source evalution are drawn from The St. Martin's Handbook8th edition (p. 218-219):


Does the site/document have an author? What are the author's credentials? Why should you trust this author as an expert? 


Who sponsors or publishes the source? What evidence demonstrates that the sponsor/publisher is credible? What purpose/perspective does the sponsor seem to promote?


How recently was the information posted or modified? Could it be outdated or obsolete?


How do you know that the information itself is trustworthy? Are there links to other sites/sources to support factual claims?

Searching Smarter

Smart Searching Using Google






 Find information from a certain site


 Find definitions for a word



 Find only one kind of file



 Eliminate results with particular words

 college protests -vietnam


 Find an exact word (no plurals/synonyms)

 “generation exploit

 “multiple words

 Find a group of words in exact order

 “No Child Left Behind


Navigating Your Results


 Find a certain word on the page

 Hold down Control or Command key and  press letter F: A box appears. Enter the  word you’re searching for.

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