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Art Appreciation - ART 1053: Websites

Guide to assist students researching art/artists for Art Appreciation

Website Guidelines

There is a lot of information on the internet.  Not all of it is good information.  A careful evaluation of each website is required to ensure the information being presented is credible.  Remember that any credible source will provide a few basic points of information: Author, date of last update, and sources.  

While Wikipedia should never be used as an actual source when writing a research paper, you may want to check out their entries on your chosen artist and artwork.  This can give you some basic information, especially if you are unfamiliar with the specific artist or artwork.

The ABCD of Website Evaluation: What to Look For

Authority
Who is the author? What are the author's credentials?  Does the author have expertise in the area? Is the author associated with a reputable organization? 

Bias
Is the information balanced? Is it more opinion than fact? Is the page a presentation of facts or designed to sway opinion? Is a product, service, or idea being sold?

Currency
When was the page last updated? Are any links dead? Is the information consistent with your knowledge in the subject?

Documentation
Is information documented with references? Are the facts given supported with evidence? If statistics are provided, what is the source? Is the page free of spelling mistakes or other obvious mistakes? 

The ABCD of Website Evaluation Chart

This chart will  help you walk through the evaluation. It helps you look for certain things for each letter, tells you why you should evaluate, and what you should look for when evaluating. 

ABCD of Website Evaluation Chart

Recommended Websites

Website Guidelines

Some domain extensions are considered more reliable or credible than others. 

The domain extension .gov (or the equivalent national domains for other countries) is widely considered to be the most credible source. 

The domain extensions .org and .edu are also considered credible. 

  • Anyone can purchase a .org site.  Make sure the organization has the appropriate credentials to be issuing information on the topic you are researching. 
  • Many research universities assign .edu websites to all of their students for use while at the school.  Be sure to research the author to know if they are a subject expert faculty member or a student.

Generally speaking, .com extensions need more scrutiny than the others.  Anyone can purchase a .com extension and publish any information they desire, with or without checking for accuracy. 

When in doubt, use the ABCD evaluation model on this page for every website.