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All websites are written with a particular audience in mind. To determine this audience, you may need to do some investigating. Here are a few things to consider:
- Is the level of the site geared toward general readers, students, or specialists in the field?
- Does it use technical or scholarly language?
- Does it assume the reader is well educated in one particular discipline?
- Does the content of the site touch on several different topics or explore one issue or topic in detail?
- Is the website biased towards a certain viewpoint?
Accuracy refers to whether a website provides verifiable and reliable factual information. Here are some questions you might ask as you investigate the accuracy of a site:
- Are there errors in the information presented? Minor mistakes might be acceptable, but too many errors could undermine the information presented.
- Are there theories that have since been disproven on the site? This is important to determine for scientific issues, and may indicate that the entire site is outdated.
- Does the text generally agree with other sources for the same information?
- Is there documentation or evidence presented for the information provided? Look for in-text references and citations or a link to research methods and materials consulted.
- How is the site created, maintained, or managed? Is it a social media-based site like Wikipedia? A blog?