Internet Research – Evaluating Health Information”
Search the internet to find a reliable website that provides accurate information about health. Evaluate the website by assessing and deconstructing the health message you find on the website. Include the website address. Your research paper should be 2 -4 pages in length, doubled-spaced.
You can find accurate health information on the Internet—but you can also find information that’s misleading or just plain wrong. Answer these questions about the health messages you find on websites.
What techniques are used to catch your attention?
Dramatic images and language are frequently used to make you pay attention. How are the creators trying to influence you, either overtly or covertly?
What evidence is cited?
Reliable information is based on scientific research, not opinion. Be cautious if the “evidence” consists of personal stories or testimonials, and be wary about “miracle cures.” A healthy dose of skepticism is helpful when assessing health information.
Is the information current?
Information about health and medicine is always changing. Use sources of information that are current and frequently updated. Remember that websites can stay on the Internet unchanged for years.
Who sponsors the website or advertises on it?
Ads give you another clue about the possible bias of the information and its providers.
Who created the website?
Look for the organization or individuals providing the information and consider whether there is an agenda, bias, or hidden message. The most reliable sources of health information are government organizations, educational institutions, and nonprofits (URLs ending in gov, edu, or org).