Awareness of the lack of controls and resulting unreliability of much of what is published on the World Wide Web might incline us toward prohibiting Web research altogether. However, some types of information are more readily found on the web than anywhere else. Rather than precluding Web research, we can set parameters that will promote the use of reliable sources. For example, we might require that all websites consulted be connected to a reliable print source (such as Time or Newsweek), organization (like the Alzheimer's Association or PETA), government agency (such as the USDA or National Park Service), or institution (a school or medical research facility, for example). We might assign students to submit a source list for our approval before paper drafts are due, allowing us to review the appropriateness of sources and to redirect students if necessary.
In addition to the above suggestions, we can provide instruction to build students' Web research skills. The following links contain suggestions for providing Web instruction.