For this particular class and this particular assignment the goal of the session is to point you to academic tools and resources. The CARS evaluation criteria is a good way to assess whether or not to use a web site. And it is also a good measure for evaluating articles and books, too.
Here is an easy way to remember what to look for when evaluating the information that you find. These questions will help you assess what you might find most useful.
CARS: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support
Credibility. Is this source trustworthy? What are the author’s credentials? Is he or she known or a respected authority on this topic? Is there evidence of quality control? Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.
Accuracy. Is the informatio up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive? What is the intended audience and purpose? Does it reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.
Reasonableness. Is the presentation fair, balanced, objective, reasoned? Can you find that the author has no conflict of interest? Is there an absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.
Support: Does this information provide background sources or references? Is there contact information for the author? Are claims supported, documentated and corroborated?. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (that is are you able to find at least two other sources (non web) that support it).
taken from Virtual Salt. Robert Harris http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm
Supporting material such as statistics will enhance and strengthen your research paper. There are some excellent statistical sources both print and web. Here are some suggestions:
Using these and other statistical resources are worth the effort. Linda or someone at the ASK desk will be able to help you find the supporting data that you need.