The purpose of this assignment is to:
• Introduce the use of web-based resources for the study of history.
• Introduce different approaches to historical research.
• Teach techniques for evaluating web-based resources.
Summary: For this assignment, you will:
• Read material that explains how to examine and evaluate websites.
• Choose and examine 2 websites from a specified list of links.
• Write an analytical essay describing, comparing, and evaluating the 2 websites according to the criteria provided.
Grades will be based on the quality of the writing; the quality of description, analysis, and evaluation; and the extent to which the student follows the assignment instructions. Essays will be graded according to the rubric provided.
Instructions: Read through all instructions carefully before beginning the assignment. Review each step before submitting your work.
1. Read about how to evaluate websites. Use these links:
a. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html—Read the entire page.
b. http://guides.library.jhu.edu/content.php?pid=198142&sid=1657518—Click each of the 4 tabbed pages linked next to the Home tab and read each one.
2. Optional—You may also consult these resources:
a. A videotaped presentation explaining how to evaluate sources of all kinds with emphasis on websites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvVhN3_ex_8&list=PL70C64E544AB6F5CF&index=10
b. Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/webeval.html
3. Choose 2 websites from the lists provided below. Choose 1 from List A and 1 from List B.
4. Examine the websites. For each site, take the time to click on all relevant areas of the site. You are not required to read every word of text and view every image, but you should read enough to make a sound and accurate judgment about the content of the website. Plan to spend about 45 minutes to 1 hour on each website. Be careful to stay on the website itself. Some links will take you to other websites. If you are not sure, check the url in the address bar each time you click on a link. If anything other than the last part of the url is different, then you have left the original website.
5. Write an essay of 900–1100 words that includes each of the following:
a. Description and analysis of each website.
i. Description: For each of the 2 websites you selected, write at least 1 paragraph describing the website. Explain the purpose for the website and identify the intended audience. Describe the kinds of information given and how it is presented. Be specific. The reader should be able to visualize the description and locate the features you are describing. You will have at least 2 description paragraphs, 1 for each of the websites you have chosen.
ii. Evaluate: For each of the 2 websites you selected, write 2–3 paragraphs evaluating the website using the standards given in the reading above. Remember to consider the origins of the website, how reliable and thorough the information is, and whether or not there is any evidence of bias. Be specific. For example, do not just say the contributors are credible. Explain why they are credible and give an example. You will have 4–6 paragraphs, 2–3 for each of the websites you have chosen.
iii. In both your description and evaluation, remember to include specific examples from each website to demonstrate your points. Provide links to examples.
b. Comparison: Write at least 1 paragraph evaluating and comparing the usefulness of the 2 websites for historical research.
c. Biblical worldview: Write 1 paragraph considering the impact of a Biblical worldview. To what extent is either or both of these websites informed by a biblical worldview? Does this affect their value for historical research? If so, to what extent? If not, why not?
d. Reaction: Write 1 paragraph stating what is most interesting or beneficial about the process of completing this assignment.
e. As a general rule, paragraphs should be 80–150 words each.
6. Your essay must:
• Be no less than 900 words and no more than 1100 words.
• Be typed into a Word document and formatted according to the sample format provided in Blackboard.
• Be a single, integrated essay with an introduction and a conclusion. Do not type a separate section for each content area. Do not use section headers or subsections.
• Be written in your own words and based only on the sources provided with this assignment.
• Use minimal or no quotations. Any quotations must be properly cited. See the formatting sample provided in Blackboard.
• Include a working link (in parentheses) for each example given.
• NOT include any images.
When writing your essay,
• Use the name of the website, not just the link. The first time you mention the site, give its full title and the link in parentheses. After the first mention, refer to the website by name only. If the name is long, use a shortened version after the first time you mention it.
• Do not make overt reference to the readings that teach you how to evaluate websites. This is background reading for you and is not relevant to the person reading your essay.
Select websites from the lists on the next page.
Websites for Analysis
List A (choose one)
Modern History Sourcebook
The Victorian Web
Marxists Internet Archive
German History in Documents and Images
The World Wide Web Virtual Library for Russian and Eastern European Studies
List B (choose one)
The Galileo Project
Making the History of 1989
History in the Movies
Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity
Seventeen Moments in Soviet History
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
Imaging the French Revolution
- Format or citation style:
- Chicago / Turabian