This is the "Website Categories" page of the "Evaluating Information" guide.
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Evaluating Information  

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Last Updated: Apr 16, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Website Categories Print Page

Website Categories

Websites Usually Fall into One of These Categories


·      Advocacy: Often attempt to influence public opinion. Mainly are useful for analyzing the organizations themselves. Domain is usually .org. Examples:             


·      Business/Marketing: Commercial web sites that generally intend to sell their products or services. Sometimes provide information (balanced or biased) or other entertainment (games, music, etc.) to attract customers. Domain is usually .com. Examples:                           


·      Information: Tend to present factual information. Will require critical evaluation to verify reliability. Domain is usually .edu (education), .gov (government), .mil (military), or .org (organization). Examples:                                                                                                                                   


·      News: Provide current information. Usually include advertisements and might charge a fee for full access. Domain is usually .com. Examples:



·      Personal: Usually for the promotion of an individual’s ideas. May be informative or useless. Domain is usually .com, .net, or .edu (~ in the url usually indicates a student or professor). Other possible indicators: a percent sign (%) in url, a provider name (,,,,,, etc.) in url, graphics that are “cute” or “flashy” or otherwise unprofessional, biased opinions, or an About Me link. Personal pages require extra scrutiny. No one regulates their presence on the web. There can be a very significant difference between a real expert and a self-proclaimed expert. A self-proclaimed expert's writing can result from misconception, exaggeration, opinion, anger, or distortion. Examples:      


Adapted with permission from


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