It’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use material from the Internet.If you give a sense of what kind of Web source you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence.
Most of us have had the experience of sending by email something we wrote quickly—perhaps when rushed or angry.
Often these are things we wouldn’t print, sign, and mail, because those extra steps give us time to consider our words more carefully, and also because we recognize a higher expectation that things in print should be trustworthy.
After finding a website that seems useful and tracking down the author’s name, you may need additional research (perhaps using Google) to learn whether the author has any claim to credibility.
But of course, countless reliable sources can be accessed on the web, and even unreliable sources have some uses in research writing. Popular Sources for more about unreliable sources.) These days, many students and scholars use Web sources extensively in research and teaching.
If the site creator’s name is listed, it’s still sometimes hard to tell whether the information has been reprinted from some other source.
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If you reach a website through a search engine, you may have to find the site’s homepage or search around in the “contact” information in order to identify the author or the organization that sponsors the site.
Some organizations, while established leaders in their fields, have very few resources available to maintain and update their websites.
Some private individuals, although hosting websites as a hobby, are experts in their fields and consider accuracy on their sites to be the highest priority.
(2) Publicly accessible websites are generally safe to quote.
You may occasionally find a website reposting information that’s clearly from category 3, in which case you may wish to contact the original author before using the material.