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ART 102 - Art History II: Research & Citing Sources

How to Evaluate Web Sites

Learn to be a critical thinker. When conducting research on the World Wide Web, evaluate the sites you are viewing using the criteria found in this section.

  • ACCURACY     Anyone can publish information on the web. The information may or may not be accurate. Most web sites are not verified by editors and fact checkers. Look for e-mail, contact address and phone numbers. You want to find out if the author is qualified to write the web page.
  • AUTHORITY     Web sites should enable the researcher to find out about the authors. Look for names, where they work, credentials, addresses, and e-mail addresses. Look for the URL domain. Is the author affiliated with an educational institution (edu), a government agency (gov), an organization (org), or a commercial site (com)? Do the authors/publishers list their qualifications?
  • OBJECTIVITY     Are the goals and aims of the persons or groups responsible for the web site clearly stated? Is the group/person/organization legitimate? Some sites are thinly disguised commercials or opinion pages. Does the author express his/her opinions? Ask yourself why the page was written and for whom.
  • CURRENCY     Dates are not usually included on web pages. Check for dead links and outdated information. If you see a date listed, it may be the date of posting or the date of revision.
  • COVERAGE     Are you getting all the information this site has to offer? Do you need specialized software to access the information? Are you required to pay a fee to access the information? Is the content of the web page balanced with text and graphics? Are links relevant to the document’s content? Good web sites should contain a statement explaining or summarizing topics covered on the site.

PC 7/98, 1/06

What is Plagiarism?

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is simply using someone's work and not acknowledging or giving credit to the original author(s).

I am plagiarizing if I:

  • Intentionally duplicate or copy another person's work including copying directly from an article, book, or website
  • Copy another student's assignment(s)
  • Paraphrase another person's work, while making only minor changes and not changing the meaning or ideas presented by the original author(s)
  • Copy sections of another person's work and piece these sections together to create a new whole
  • Turn in an assignment that has been previously submitted for assessment and then take credit for the assignment
  • Turn in an assignment as independent work when the assignment was produced in whole or part in collusion with another student(s), tutor(s), or person(s)

For more information regarding Plagiarism visit:


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MLA Format Sample Citations

The bibliography or list of works cited at the end of your research paper is an acknowledgment of the sources of information you used. Sources of information might include books, magazine or journal articles, interviews or online resources.

A Work of Visual Art:

To properly cite a work of Visual Art, please consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers Seventh Edition.  In the MCC Library a copy of the handbook can be found at the Reference Desk.  The call number for the book is: Reference Desk  LB2369 G53 2009. 

On page 200 of the MLA Handbook you will find instructions for citing a Work of Visual Art:

 To cite a painting, lithograph, sculpture, or similar work, state the artists's name first when available.  In general, italicize the title and then list the date of composition (if the year is unknown, write N.d.).  Indicate the medium of composition.  Name the institution that houses the work (e.g., a museum), or, for a work in a private collection, give the name of the collection (Collection of ...), and then provide the name of the city where the institution or collection is located.  If the collector is unknown or wishes to be anonymous, use Private collection without a city name.


Bearden, Romare.  The Train. 1974.  Photogravure and aquatint.  Museum of

      Mod. Art, New York.

-MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, p. 200.

For more examples of how to cite a Work of Visual Art, consult page 200 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.