Focus: Evaluate a website using course criteria to determine whether or not it is a suitable research source, provide an alternate research source, and explain how the website might be incorporated in a literary analysis of a given poem.
Topic Guidelines: Choose from websites and corresponding poem choices listed in assignment guidelines.
Word Count: 1200+
Format: MLA format (Include in-text citations and Works Cited.)
Point of View: Third person’s point of view is required. (Avoid first and second person.)
Outside Research: Cite the website to be evaluated and your chosen alternate website. (the corresponding poem does not need to be cited.)
Submission Guidelines: Submit the essay as an attachment. Save file as .doc, .docx, or .rtf.
Step 1: Choose a website to evaluate
Choose one of the assigned websites (and corresponding poems) from the list below:
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (Links to an external site.)
Poem choices: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and/or ” Nature Is What We See”.
American Exploration & Mining Association (Links to an external site.)
Poem choices: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and/or ” Nature Is What We See”.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (Links to an external site.)
Poem choices: “Little Stones at My Window” and/or “If”
Project Happiness Global (Links to an external site.)
Poem choices: “My Heart Leaps Up” and/or “A Birthday”
Step 2: Evaluate the Website
Using the How to Evaluate a Website material in this module, write an evaluation of the website.
Assume you are considering using your chosen website in a research paper for a college course. Using the criteria outlined in How to Evaluate a Website, evaluate the site’s usefulness as a research source. Your discussion of each component should be written in at least one well-developed paragraph, using examples (such as summaries, paraphrases, and quotes) from the websites to support your evaluation as needed. (Do not use sentence fragments or bullet points.) Remember, the evalution should not merely identify information but should examine how the content of the website impacts each component, the audience, and its potential for use as a research source.
Feel free to insert screenshots if you feel they will be useful in your evaluation and explanation.
Step 3: Locate an Additional Source
After evaluating your chosen website you will have decided whether or not the website is an appropriate source for a research paper.
If you have decided that the website IS an appropriate source for a college-level essay:
Locate one additional source (website or online article) that you feel would further strengthen your argument and would be another suitable research source for the paper. Briefly explain why the source would work well for the paper and how it might be incorporated.
If you have decided that the website IS NOT an appropriate source for a college-level essay:
Locate one additional source (website or online article) that you feel would be a more appropriate source to support the paper. Briefly explain why the source would be more appropriate than the assigned source and explain how it might be incorporated into the paper.
Step 4: Analyze the poem and discuss incorporation into literary analysis
Read and analyze the corresponding poem choice for your chosen website.
Imagine you’re writing a literary analysis of the poem and that the paper will require outside research to help you discuss the poem’s historical context and the relevance of the poem and its theme to the present day. In 1-2 paragraphs, explain how you might incorporate the assigned website into a literary analysis paper about the poem. Whether you have determined that the assigned website is or is not credible will inevitably change the way you would incorporate the site into a paper, so consider how the website could be best used to analyze the poem, discuss its historical context, and its relevance to today.
The paragraph(s) you write in this section of the Evaluation Essay will:
Identify the poem’s theme, its historical context, and how it relates to current society.
Explain how the assigned website might be incorporated into a literary analysis essay.
Include the headings listed below in your paper. (Headings should be listed in caps at the left margin.)
INTRODUCTION
The introduction paragraph(s) should introduce the paper and briefly summarize the website. This summary should summarize the focus or goals of the website, not the design of the site. The introduction should also include a thesis to inform readers of the focus of the essay.
AUTHORITY
PURPOSE
CURRENCY
OBJECTIVITY
ACCURACY
COVERAGE
FINAL EVALUATION
This brief paragraph should offer a final evaluation of the website and summarize your key points as to why the site is or is not an appropriate research source for an academic essay.
This section is not a personal opinion. It is a conclusion based on evidence; therefore, it should be written in the third person.
ALTERNATE SOURCE
This paragraph will identify one additional source that might be incorporated into a research essay and explain how it might be utilized. (See discussion above for content requirements.)
INCORPORATION INTO LITERARY ANALYSIS
This section (composed of 1-2 paragraphs) will explain how the assigned website might be incorporated into a literary analysis essay about the assigned corresponding poem. (See discussion above for content requirements.)
CONCLUSION
Wrap up the essay by discussing your evaluation and the usefulness of your chosen website as a research source. Consider highlighting why it should/should not be used in an academic research paper, a literary analysis paper, or another type of college writing and/or how best to use this type of website in research writing.

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