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English Language - Level 4: Websites

Some useful information to help with your studies

Finding resources on the Web

Finding Resources on the Web

There are lots of good reasons to search the internet, but not everything you find online is good information. Sometimes information is only presented from one perspective, or is deliberately misleading. Other times, what you find may not be from a reliable source, and your tutors may not want you using it in an academic assignment. Learning to be critical about the information you find online is important, and it can take time.

So, how can you tell what's good and what isn't? Watch below to find out!

 

Still not sure about that website you found? Try using The CRAAP Test to see if you can use it for your assignment.

Official and Government Websites

     Government & Official Websites    

Government and official organisation websites are usually easy to find, and generally have reliable information. Using sites from the New Zealand government or an official New Zealand organisation are much more likely to be considered good quality academic resources by your tutors when you submit your assignments.


  Government websites

Government sites are often put up by government departments, and information from them is considered more reliable and more appropriate to use in an academic assignment than other websites. A government website will usually end in a URL suffix, or 'domain' that's obvious and easy to recognise:

  • New Zealand:   .govt.nz
  • Australia:   .govt.au
  • UK:   .gov.uk
  • USA:   .gov
  • Canada:   .gc.ca

Many governments offer a list of all of their official websites, like the New Zealand one below.


  Official Websites

Many websites may not be from a government department, but they are official and reliable all the same. It's often hard to know which websites are official and which aren't, but you'll learn to start identifying good websites from bad as you use the internet and think critically about what you find. Most official organisations will have domains like .org, .org.nz, .org.au, or something similar. But how can you tell if an organisation is official?

  • What kind of organisation is it? Use Google to see if they are the official organisation of that kind for a country. Good examples would be the New Zealand Red Cross, or the New Zealand Teacher's Council.
  • But there are a whole bunch that look the same! Look at the websites more carefully. Read the 'About Us' page, and consider the information they are giving you. What is their goal in giving it to you? Why does the organisation exist? Are the offering a service, or saying they can fix a problem?
  • Is the website biased? If their website only presents one side of an issue, they are a partisan, or biased organisation, that only tells you part of the story. Looking at biased websites can be useful, but their information might not be as reliable. Look for websites that tell the other side of the story as well!

   Some URL Hints

  • Sites that end in .edu, .ac.nz, .ac.edu.au, or .ac.uk are websites from educational organisations - like a university, or another tertiary institution. Wintec's website is wintec.ac.nz, for instance. In general, a university or tertiary website is going to be considered fairly reliable.
  • Sites that end in .com are usually websites for businesses - they're making money somehow. New Zealand websites often have the ending .co.nz, or Australian ones, .com.au. These are businesses too! Businesses exist to make money, so you need to be careful when using their websites. Check that the business is legitimate, and that the information you are seeing is accurate before you use it. Consider if they have a reason to give you information that only tells part of a story. Use The CRAAP test!
  • Sites that end in .net can be hard to figure out. Sometimes they are business or organisations, sometimes they're personal websites or something else. Look carefully to decide if they are legitimate and good quality, and use The CRAAP Test to determine if you should use it for an assignment.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is the academic part of Google. You can search just like on normal Google, but you'll find academic information to use in your assignments. Plus, you can find journal articles from Wintec Library in Google Scholar! Just click the Wintec Article Finder links you see when you do a search.

If you're at Wintec, click the link below.

At home, or on your own phone or laptop or tablet, you need to follow a few steps to see Wintec Article Finder links when you search Google Scholar.


Contact Us
library@wintec.ac.nz

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(07) 834 8866
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