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HIST 318 (Hyland): the United States and Latin America  

Dr. Hyland, Fall 2012
Last Updated: Jan 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Evaluating Websites

How do you know the information you find on the Internet is trustworthy?

  • Evaluating Web Pages
    Criteria for evaluating a website's credibility from Duke University Libraries.
  • Evaluating Science WWW Resources
    Tips on evaluating science websites from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, North Carolina State University.

The Wikipedia Dilemma

Using the tips from Duke University in the "Evaluating Websites" box, take a look at Wikipedia and think about the following:

Search Cuban missile crisis on Wikipedia and take a look at the Wikipedia entry.

Is Wikipedia a good source to cite in your research? No!

-Anyone can make edits to this entry

-Look at all the changes that have been made to this article - do you know who made these changes?

Is Wikipedia a good resource to help you with your research? Yes!

-Look at the bottom for References, Further Reading, and External links

-These sections can guide you to books, articles, and sites for government and other organizations

The conclusion?

Wikipedia is a good site to help jumpstart your research as it can lead you to other sources you know are credible, but it is not a good site to use as a source because the information can be too unreliable.

HIST 318 Online Resources

  • Council on Foreign Relations
    "The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries." (via
  • Foreign Relations of the US [FRUS]: US State Department
    The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Search within the volumes, or browse them by title or administration.
  • Foreign Relations of the US [FRUS]: University of Wisconsin
    Additional FRUS documents available online via the University of Wisconsin.
  • the National Security Archive: George Washington University
    An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism's most prestigious prizes, for--in the words of the citation--"piercing the self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in the search for the truth and informing us all."
  • THOMAS - Library of Congress
    THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress in order to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Documents available for viewing include: Bills, Resolutions, Congressional Records, Treaties, etc.
  • United States House of Representatives
    Provides information on the House, its committees and its members. Also includes such services as the schedule the House intends to consider in the current week, up-to-date events on the House floor as they happen, access to information about bills and resolutions being considered in the Congress, roll call votes, House Committee Hearing Schedules and Oversight Plans, and access to Thomas.
  • United States Senate
    Provides information on the US Senate (including, history and trivia), directory of senators and committees, information on recent committee activities and hearings, information on the status and history of recent legislation, and information of the legislation process. The site has a keyword index.
  • US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was established in 1816 as one of the original ten standing committees of the Senate. Throughout its history, the committee has been instrumental in developing and influencing United States foreign policy, at different times supporting and opposing the policies of presidents and secretaries of state. Official website includes PDF versions of
  • Wikileaks - Secret US Embassy Cables
    Beginning in November 2010, Wikileaks published over 250,000 leaked United States embassy cables -- "the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain." According to the site, "The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government foreign activities." Cables date from 1966 to February 2010 and "contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret."

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