Notetaking graphic organizers -

Research Guide -

Website evaluation
Hoax websites (from Mark Aaron Polger: “about a new development, a new airport in the middle of Manhattan [destroying part of Central Park]”) (Roxane BenVau : “My favorite hoax website has always been RYT Hospital, especially for the nursing students. There's information on the site about male pregnancy, nanodocs, and a researcher that created a mouse with human intelligence.”) (Dan Ream: “Spaghetti Harvest video … It apparently was actually broadcast on the BBC, but the air date is significant--April 1, 1957. Interesting also that a reputable source is involved in this case.” (Holger Lenz: “It takes on pharmaceutical advertisement, but is a complete hoax [not harmful though – you can’t order anything]“) (Minnesota Coconut Growers) (Dawna Turcotte: “Most folks haven’t a clue that this is H2O”) The Ova Prima Foundation: “It is the Foundation's primary objective to continue to build a body of scientific evidence that will shed light on the egg-and-chicken controversy, that most basic of conundrums.” The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (a spoof about anti-depressants) Bonsai Kitty Baby Cages

Directories of hoax websites:

Article mills/content farms,, (Lori Ferguson: “These sites can look very slick, but anyone can sign up to write and no one checks their articles for correctness.”), , , (Jeffery Karleson: “Find an article—best is on health/science topics—show how the information generally looks ok, then click on the author’s name to find that s/he has also written 1000 or more other articles on assorted wacky topics.” Also see “Nice article on the topic at,9171,1971409,00.html” )

Provocative websites Institute for Historical Review: Holocaust denial European Union Times online (from Daniel Liestman: “anti-immigration site masquerading with legitimacy. A Whois search reveals the site is actually in Canada! “) and (demonstrate: evaluate author bias)
Demonstrate importance of timeliness: Google search for “endangered species” early result is , last updated in 2002. Google search for Detroit history,, last updated in 2001. (Lori Mills) contrasted to for example, to show bias on both sides” (Janice Hovis)
David McKusker: “I have students Google gay marriage and then discuss Wikipedia and (usually the second or third hit). I've had science students Google Bisphenol A and then discuss Wikipeida and (the second hit).”

Websites that purport to have information, but exist to sell something (Valerie Greene-Moss: “I contrast with They are both about travel in New Zealand’s South Island. That’s where the similarities end. The first one is one of hundreds of sites set up by a man who makes his living from the Google ads he hosts.”) (Eileen Kramer: “It's not the subject matter that's a problem, but there are better sites to learn about homeopathy or natural medicine. This one is just about 100% advertising.”) (from Jessica McLuckie: “I’ve been using this to illustrate how we tell between real articles vs. ads, how to evaluate the quality of information we’re being given and the purpose behind it.”)

Tools for evaluation: To determine a website domain’s current ownership and contact information as well as historical information about the domain. (Daniel Liestman: “It can be a good indicator of the type of people who visit a site based on both demographics and reviews as well as the clickstream. Their information is gathered from people who use the Alexa toolbar so it may not be a precise indicator, but it is interesting and it is a freebie!”)

Guides to Evaluating Websites: (Kelly Frost: “I do a mix in my presentation of the real and the hoax in my Who, What, When, Where, Why presentation.”)
Michele Van Hoeck: “I favor using “real” sites as well, having formerly used only hoax sites. I was inspired to switch by this article:”