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English 102 Tools and Resources

by Barret Havens, CC Information Services Librarian/ updated 4/2/09

Website evaluation criteria:

Authority: What are the qualifications and/or training of the authors?

Bias: Do the authors have some motive for being less than objective/scientific?

Currency: How current is the information?

Documentation: Do the authors indicate where they got their information?

Website evaluation tools:

  1. “Whois” database will help you find out to whom a web site is registered. Then you can use that information to dredge up the goods on that person or organization (use Google?). Address:
  2. Librarians’ Internet Index: California State Librarians have compiled a searchable index of web sites that they have determined to be the most useful and/or reliable. There are some real gems here! Address:
  3. Google Domain Limit: enter your search terms and then type “” (without quotes) to limit to government web sites, or use another domain (.edu, etc.) Address:

Books and Electronic Books

  1. Library Catalog: For the most part, this will help you locate books, videos, and other items that are available at CC Kirk Library. The catalog does not search through the entire content of the items though: it will only search through brief descriptions of items. Address: , then click “catalog.”
  2. CC Library eBook collections: Search through the entire content of over 30,000 complete ebooks (three separate collections) that you can read online! , then click “ebooks.”
  3. Online Reference Tools: Use an online reference book such as a subject-specific encyclopedia to get an overview of a topic, define your terms, or brainstorm for different ways to narrow your topic. Addresses: or visit the Resources by Subject page for the topic you are researching:


  1. Find a particular journal, magazine, or newspaper by title (title of periodical, NOT article title): Our list of magazines, journals, and newspapers will guide you to whichever database contains articles from the periodical you are looking for. If you are unable to find a database that provides access, talk to a librarian! Address: , then click “journals by title.”
  2. Finding articles by keyword or subject (if you need articles, but don’t require that they come from a particular journal, magazine or newspaper title): use the CC Library databases. There are descriptions of the databases and links directly to them at or visit the databases by subject page:
  3. Finding out if a journal is peer-reviewed. The peer-review process ensures that only the highest quality information is published in a journal (not all journals are peer-reviewed). Try typing the name of the journal into Google, along with the international standard serial number (ISSN) and/or the name of the organization that publishes the journal. Go to the publisher’s website and see if you can find a page that offers some info. about the publication or the article submission process. If they tell you the publication is “juried,” “peer-reviewed,” or “refereed,” you’re all set! Or use Magazines for Libraries , located in the reference section of the CC library (call number: 016.05 KATZ 2008) to find out if a journal is peer-reviewed.
  4. Google Scholar: Sometimes you’ll find articles available for free on the web via Google Scholar. Remember to make sure they are peer-reviewed if you are required to use peer-reviewed sources (see #3 of this section)! Address: