Child Development 170: Contextual Influences on Cognitive Development

How to find a topic of interest to you on Internet

1. Select a topic dealt with in the text for your Internet search. Examples might include, for example, educational research, multicultural education, bilingual education, whole language instruction, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, cultural diversity, standardized testing, authentic assessment and so forth, using topics throughout the text.

2. Use academic cliche as much as possible to narrow down your search (e.g., use "gender role" rather than "sex role"). Use singal form of nouns rather than plural (by doing that you include pages with both usage). Use quotation marks to search for phrases: "gender role". Use * for truncation: moral*. Use AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR operators (e.g., "moral development" AND "culture"). Search terms should be lower case unless the terms are proper names.

3. Search the Internet using the UCSC Web Research Tools or Microsoft or one or more Web Search Engines (e.g., AltaVista, EINet Galaxy, InfoSeek, Lycos, Yahoo, Web Crawler /it is a multiple search engine/, or Magellan), to locate resources related to the topic you have selected.

Search Alta-Vista
Search Infoseek
Search Lycos
Search Webcrawler
Search Yahoo:

Note: ERIC (the Educational Resource Information Center), is an especially useful resource. It will be valuable to conduct Web searches going to ERIC as well as using a number of the search engines so that you can have a broad experience. It will also be valuable for you to explore the sites referenced on the UCSC Web Research Tools as well as on the UCI Educational Psychology Home Page.

Information Evaluation

To evaluate the quality of the information as a possible research citation, check to see if the web page meets the following criteria:
Note: The greater the number of questions listed below answered "yes", the more likely the source is of high quality. The questions in Bold Type must be answered "yes" for the source to be of value in your research.

Criterion #1: AUTHORITY

1.Is it clear who is sponsoring the page?
2.Is there a link to a page describing the purpose of the sponsoring organization?
3.Is there a way of verifying the legitimacy of the page's sponsor? That is, is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information? (Simply an email address is not enough).
4.Is it clear who wrote the material and are the author's qualifications for writing on this topic clearly stated?
5.If the material is protected by copyright, is the name of the copyright holder given?

Criterion #2: ACCURACY

1.Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so they can be verified in another source?
2.Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and other typographical errors? (These kinds of errors not only indicate a lack of quality control, but can actually produce inaccuracies in information).
3.Is it clear who has the ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the content of the material?
4.If statistical data is presented in graphs and/or charts, are they clearly labeled and easy to read?

Criterion #3: OBJECTIVITY

1.Is the information provided as a public service?
2.Is the information free of advertising?
3.If there is any advertising on the page, is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?

Criterion #4: CURRENCY

1.Are there dates on the page to indicate:

1.When the page was written?
2.When the page was first placed on the Web?
3.When the page was last revised?

2.Are there any other indications that the material is kept current?
3.If material is presented in graphs and/or charts, is it clearly stated when the data was gathered?
4.If the information is published in different editions, is it clearly labeled what edition the page is from?

Criterion #5: COVERAGE

1.Is there an indication that the page has been completed, and is not still under construction?
2.If there is a print equivalent to the Web page, is there a clear indication of whether the entire work is available on the Web or only parts of it?
3.If the material is from a work which is out of copyright (as is often the case with a dictionary or thesaurus) has there been an effort to update the material to make it more current?

This checklist compiled by: J. Alexander & M. Tate: July 1996
Copyright Widener University 1996
Wolfgram Memorial Library, Widener University, Chester, PA.

Citation of Internet Sources

A Brief Ciatation Guide to Internet Sources in History and the Humanities

Bibliographic Formats for Citing Electronic Information

Last changed: January 20, 1997. Created by Eugene Matusov.