Carolina Biological OSE – April 2024


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Life Science

Credible Sources

Author Post
Randall Shinn Randall Shinn 510 Points

Hi Everyone, I'm looking to have my students research different ideas and information before having my students design their prototypes and do their write up papers. One of the issues that I have been running into is using credible sources. I have spoken to teachers that work in my school and each person has a different response. It comes to a point where no one knows EXACTLY which method is better. Does anyone know of a good website explaining good, reliable credible sources? If so, would you mind lending a helping hand?

Jessica Hulvey Jessica Hulvey 1745 Points

Hi Randall, The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website is awesome for this! It lists a series of five questions that help determine if a source is credible. The site is great for all things writing! It's also updated regularly. I hope this helps!

Angelo Laskowsky Angelo Laskowsky 2190 Points

I don't know if this would help, but I made a website evaluation rubric for my kids to use for their research. I only made it because it was part of a class I was taking but, I was shocked when it actually WORKED. And they started to use it with non-internet sources. My kids are far more savvy about their research now than they were before. Most of the stuff I put in the tool was on that Purdue site Jessica suggested. But, I also put in things like looking for bias (and I have since found out that bias is not really taught by the Language Arts department at my school.. grr) I also had them look at what was actually written and when it was written. They needed to look out for ads, too, since an ad selling products, or if the website only references one type of product, then it's probably not very credible. I figured that the best way to teach credibility was to have my kids look at how the source was developed (if it's a website or an article from a magazine or book) and where that source is coming from. If it's a person they're referencing, what's the background of the person? That kind of stuff. After, they were able to pick apart stuff pretty well. They're in 8th grade, so my kids aren't perfect at it, but they're better than what they started out with.

Arleen Bourcier Arleen Bourcier 1570 Points

Randal, I'm currently taking a course that looks at the reliablity of websites. The internet is a wonderful resourse however it can sometimes be difficult to tell if the information given is accurate. There are several websites that have evluation criteria that will help you and your students determine if any particular website is reliable. You can also create your own evaluation toll. Creating the tool is actually quite simple, I even created one that my kindergarten students are currently using. The folling links will help you if you're interested: This one will help you create your own:§ion_id=3& Gook Luck!:)

Erin Mendelson Erin Mendelson 2690 Points

Hi! Our school library which is now called the Information Resource Center (IRC) has a link to EBSCO website on its webpage that provides reliable sources for research papers. I have found that many of the articles are at a higher reading level then my students. I teach special education sixth grade. The IRC webpage also has a link to Searchasaurus that has articles geared to elementary students. The articles are in pdf full text or html full text. Kid Search powered by EBSCO host has articles written at lower reading levels as well. The Science reference center is also amazing; however, I think my school pays for these sites.

Angelo Laskowsky Angelo Laskowsky 2190 Points

@Arleen, Those are some great sources! I really like how simple and laid out Berkely's is. While we're all on the topic of credible sources, does anyone have a good lesson to teach kids how to cite properly using APA format? I have my kids use BibMe at but even the cite agrees that students should know why they're using the formats they're using and how to do it. So, does anyone have any good lessons on how to teach it?

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