Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. -- Lorraine Hansberry

T is for Thinking

The ICYouSee Guide to Critical Thinking About What You See on the Web

For fun and games and pretty pictures,
the Web is fine.

But is the Web a good research tool?

The answer is a qualified yes,
and only if you are careful.

Use the Web Wisely

Using the Web well takes more than just knowing how to google. To use the Web wisely and efficiently, especially for research, consider the following six suggestions:

1) Make sure you are in the right place.

2) When in doubt, doubt.

3) Consider the source.

4) Know what's happening.

5) Look at details.

6) Distinguish Web pages from pages found on the Web.


In addition to these six suggestions about evaluating sources,
here are some criteria that are commonly used.

  • Authority: Who are the authors of the Web page, or who is responsible for it? What gives them their authority or expertise to write?
  • Accuracy: Do you have good reason to believe that the information on the site is accurate? Are the facts documented?
  • Objectivity: What is the author's point of view? What is the purpose of the site?
  • Currency: When was the information on the page originally written? Has the site been kept up-to-date?
  • Coverage: Does this site address the topic you are researching? Is the information basic and cursory or detailed and scholarly? However complex the language might be, is the information substantial?
  • Value: Was the page worth visiting? Does the site offer anything informative, unique, or insightful? Is the site free of careless errors, misspelled words, and poor grammar?


After you have considered the suggestions and criteria listed on this page, to review, there is a quiz and one more st*p*d assignment.

A Note to Instructors
There are five exercises to choose from:
Mayan Calendar
, The Sixties, Eggs and Cholesterol, Martin Luther King and
Hydraulic Fracturing.
I hereby grant permission for you to use or adapt the assignments. I only request that you let me know.

Now in its third decade on the Web, T is for Thinking: the ICYouSee Guide to Critical Thinking
is the creation of John R. Henderson, a reference librarian at the Ithaca College Library.
Due to a reorganization of the Ithaca College webserver, this site is now maintained independently at
First created: November 1994
Last updated on August 23, 2014