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Writing Research Papers for English Composition: Other Search Possibilities

Here is information to assist you in finding resources for the writing of research essays for !213 English Composition II.

Common Web Evaluation Issues

Advertisements - Just as with print media, a fair portion of the web is "ad supported." usually this is not a problem unless pop-ups become annoying or it becomes hard to distinguish advertising from "real" page content.

Registrations - Quite a few sites require signups either to permit replies or to see all the material.  If you like the site and visit often or want to comment, then register. Registration exists to prevent spam comments. sites requiring registration for complete access include: the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and a number of others.

Copyright - Everything is NOT on the web due to copyright. This means that most journal and magazine articles, and nearly all books published after 1923 are not available through the open web. This is why the Al Harris Library subscribes to a substantial number of databases as well as Ebrary, NetLibrary, and Oxford e-book collections.

Top Level Domains - The top level domain or a website, whether it is a .com, .org, .edu, .gov, or any other domain name, tells you absolutely nothing about a website's content. Colleges and universities routinely host students' and professors' personal webpages, while most other domains are for sale to anyone who cares to pay a reasonable fee. Check for background information about a site by using Alexa. Alexa is a useful resource for discovering information about websites including how popular the site is and who owns it.

Directories on the Web

The web offers a variety of directories for finding a particular site or locating groups of sites on a variety of topics.  Directories vary in the subjects they cover and the actual sites they index. Keep in mind that due to copyright and licensure, not everything that exists is on the open web.

Dmoz (Open Directory Project) - is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. Another plus is that is does not include advertising.

Google Directory - This is a searchable directory maintained by live human editors who screen out obviously off topic and poor quality pages. The Directory says of itself, "the web organized by topic into categories." - Despite poorly disguised sponsored links and pop ups, the directory features web pages selected by human guides who are experts in their fields. The resources for consumer health and nonacademic subjects such as hobbies and sports are informative. It is a good place to look for clip art.

EdSitement – Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities,  this site contains a variety of links to other websites and references to resources available through government, nonprofit,  and commercial entities. These links and references are provided solely for informational purposes and the convenience of the user.


HONcode Hunt - This site is a gateway to medical sites that allow users to locate resources based upon quality and credibility and retrieve only trusted information. To find appropriate results, the user should select HONcode sites from the menu above the search box.

Infomine -  Covers only scholarly web pages. Due to copyright, it has few, if any, full text articles. It does include government and reputable news sources. It also screens out term paper mills and blatantly commercial sites.

Internet Public Library - This is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in service and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the ipl2's collections.

Rocketnews - A leader in online news stories, Rocketnews is an aggregation of online resource for daily news syndicated in a single source. - The site searches over 40 databases and over 2000 selected websites, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information, including research and development results.















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Phillip Fitzsimmons
Al Harris Library, office 212