In the world of research, it appears that the days of using encyclopedias are long behind us. In fact, most print books in general are rarely used for research given the ease and thoroughness of researching on the world wide web. However, the same way you can’t believe everything you see on TV, you also cannot believe everything you read on the internet. For every good resource available, there are ten that are little more than junk and should not be cited or used as primary research. Here are sites to avoid when doing research:
1.) Wikipedia- A great site if you’re looking for some quick info on a new band or you want to see where your favorite actor is from. It’s not a great site for legitimate research however. it is far too easy for the site to be manipulated by users are the information can prove unreliable. Plus, it is not considered a credible research source by anyone who takes research seriously.
2.) Blogs- In the blogoshpere, everyone has an opinion. Opinions don’t matter much in the world research however. You would be much better off avoiding blogs altogether except as a site to patrol for legitimate links. A persons opinion or re-interpretation of facts should not be used a primary research.
2.) Wikianswers or Yahooanswers- Avoid these sites altogether unless you are doing very simple research about a minor problem. Since anyone can answer these questions then it cannot be considered a credible website for research. These sites are simply a quick hit tool on things like TV show times or who is the greatest outfielder in Red Sox history. What you are likely to find here is probably more opinion than fact.
Try searching for cites ending in edu, signifying an educational or school website. Also, .gov is a great way to find government websites where the information is credible and reliable for your works cited.