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POLSC 271: Terrorism

Which Websites to Use?

Before you use a website as a source, ask yourself:

1. Who created this content?
You should be able to identify the individual or organization who authored the content, including their affiliations and credentials.

2. Why did they create this content?
Consider their motivation- many websites present opinion as fact or provide misleading information to persuade readers.

3. How did they create this content?
A good website is going to list its sources. Whether it's a quote or a statistic, you need to know where the website got it before you can trust it.

If you have any questions about using a website, ask a librarian!

International Organizations, Think Tanks, Etc.

United States Government

Searching the Internet can be an easy way to find great sources, but you should exercise caution. There's lots of unreliable information online, so look for the official sites of reputable organizations, like these listed below.

Online Search Tips

Phrase Searching: Put quotation marks around a phrase to find results "with those words in that exact order."

Narrow by Domain: Add the term site: to limit to specific sites or domains. ( will find results only from government websites.)

Narrow by Filetype: Add the term filetype: to limit to specific file extensions. (filetype:pdf will find only PDF documents.)

Eliminate Terms: Add a minus sign before a word to omit it from your results. (arab spring -tunisia will not include results about Tunisia.)