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OneBook "Why the Cocks Fight": Web Resources

This guide will collect different resources on the book "Why the Cocks Fight"

Hints for Evaluating a Web Resource

In the current information environment, it is very important to evaluate every source you find to see if it is something that you can rely on.  Especially when dealing with American-based recording/reporting on matters in Hispaniola, both historically and in the present.  Here are some rules of thumb to think about when going through a material you find to decide whether or not this is something you want to rely on:

1) Transparency

  • Is there an author who you can contact with an attached biography?
  • Is the sponsoring organization clearly seen on the source?  Is there an "About Us" or "FAQ" about the organization that clearly states its aims?

2) Authority

  • What are the credentials of the author?  If the author is not formally credentialed, what is the author's experience with the subject matter?
  • Are the claims in the text cited to other sources?  For example, if an author makes a claim about a statistic, do they refer to the study the statistic come from?  It does not hurt to check a couple of citations in a source to see if the facts being laid out are facts.

3) Objectivity

  • Does the source lay out its agenda beforehand?  For example, a National Rifle Association article from their website has an obvious bias, but that does not discount their findings.  It is more a matter of knowing what the author's bias is upfront so you can work between facts and opinions.  Remember, biases are not bad in and of themselves, it just helps puts work into context.

4) Currency

  • Are the facts up to date?
  • When was the last time it was updated?

5) Coverage

  • Does it attempt to cover possible counterpoints and address them?

6) Emotional Response

  • How does it make you feel?  Is it written to solicit a strong visceral response?  If so, is it "clickbait"?

These are just rules of thumb and do not cover the entirety of how to evaluate a source.  If you have any questions or want a one-on-one advanced reference consultation to highlight evaluation strategies, please contact Professor Falcon to set up an appointment at angel.falcon@bcc.cuny.edu.

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