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HIS 101 - Introduction to Western Civilization I: Websites
EAWC is an on-line course supplement for students and teachers of the ancient and medieval worlds, hosted by the University of Evansville. It features its own essays and primary texts as well as an index of internet sites.
The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use. Also see links to specific sourcebooks below.
The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world from 8000 BCE to the present.
Lateral Reading vs Vertical Reading
"The historians and students read vertically -- staying within the original website in question to evaluate its reliability." (Spector)
Vertical readers are often duped by unreliable indicators such as:
a professional-looking name and logo
scholarly or reputable references
a .org URL
a polished "About Us" page claiming a nonprofit status
"The fact checkers read laterally -- quickly scanning the website in question but then opening a series of additional browser tabs, seeking context and perspective from other sites." (Spector)
Lateral readers exercise habits that lead to more thorough and efficient evaluation of information/sources such as:
search for the site/article on fact-checking sites
search the web for the owner or publisher of the site
search for pages linking to the site
follow references back to any original sources
research what other sites say about the source
Lateral reading: Instead of staying with one website or article, you might need to jump around a bit. Open multiple tabs in your browser to follow links found within the source and do supplemental searches on names, organizations or topics you find. These additional perspectives will help you to evaluate the original article and can end up saving you time.
Things to remember:
The top result on Google is not always the best. Take a moment to scan the results and skim the snippets beneath the links.
Just because a website looks professional or credible doesn't mean that it is.
Sometimes you can find out more about a website by leaving the site itself.
You can use the command-F keyboard shortcut to search within an article for a name, group, or word.
Right-click on a link to open in a new tab.
Wineburg, Sam and McGrew, Sarah. Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information (October 6, 2017). Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048994