How to Find Useless and Unreliable Websites

by braniac

Reliable websites can make a research paper great. The information they provide is specific and is written by an authoritative person for whom a requited passion for sharing information is all the compensation they need. If you, on the other hand, gain satisfaction from mediocre performance and a general ignorance of your topic, then the following tips on finding useless and unreliable websites will plummet your research paper into an unenlightened discourse that would make a medieval inquisitor proud.

Pretend that Google includes the best of the Internet. Search engines such as Google are really only able to index one third of all websites. These websites are teeming with keywords and incoming links in an effort to rank high in search engine results and make money for the site's author. There are some authoritative and well-informed commercial websites out there, but lucky for you and your sub-par research paper, these quality sites are competing with many marketing websites containing slanted information.

Know nothing about subject directories and metasearch engines. Subject directories use human discernment rather than complex algorithms to collect reliable websites. About.com is an example of a subject directory. Many more exist that have been created by academics. Meta-search engines run your keyword through multiple search engines. The results are more varied than single search engine results. Your research paper will be worse off if you just forget this information. Your library and school's sites probably give you access to great directories.

Don't pay attention to URL's. If you do, you can judge if you have found a reliable website. An important indicator is the site's domain name. This is a collection of letters after the "dot." Non-profits use ".org." These are usually comprehensive, but sympathetic and therefore slanted. Government sites, ".gov" are great for stats and facts. Commercial sites, ".com," can be suspicious. Take a look at the rest of the URL. Is it the name of a product? For example, if you are searching "depression" and the site is BillyBobsDepressionCure.com, then you can be sure that the site is slanted to sell you the cure. If the site is depressionalternatives.com, then the site might have unbiased information about multiple treatment options.

Don't use variations of your keyword. Most topics are known by more than one term. Always use the least technical term and never veer from it to ensure that your research is incomplete. If you are a real underachiever, misspell it as well.

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