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WAMS Research Guide: Web Sites

Tutorials and links to help you navigate the research process successfully.

Anatomy of a Web Site


A Web site is a collection of one or more related web pages including a home page, which are linked to each other.

A Web page is a single "screen" of information displayed in your browser  (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer , Safari) when you click on a hyperlink.  A web page may also link to external web sites. 

A Hyperlink is special highlighted text or an image on a web page that, when clicked on, takes you to another Internet location or file.


URL or address box - a long white box at the top of the web page which contains the web address, often called the URL or Universal Resource Locator.  This address uniquely identifies this web page.

Web Page Title Tab or Web Page Title Bar - Depending on the browser you use, the NAME or TITLE of the Web Page is displayed at the center top of the page and in either a browser tab or a browser bar for that web page.

Home Page - Every Web site has a Home page, the main or "front" page of the web site.  This page usually provides information about the purpose of the Web site and links to the other Web pages making up the Web site.

Every Web site is made by a different person or organization but if they followed good web design techniques, they should contain:

About page - A web page that describes the authority (qualifications, expertise, knowledge, education) of the author or organization that created the web page.

Search box - Allows searching the entire web site (all of its web pages) using keywords to find the information you need.

Contact - A page or link that allows any reader to contact the author or organization that is responsible for the information on the web site or page.

Web Site Name - Every web site has a name, often the same name as the organization that created it.  This is usually the name of the Home page of the web site.

Web Page Name (Title) - Each web page of a web site should have its own unique name or title, that describes the information found on the web page.

Copyright or Last Updated date - The date that this information was created or last modified which allows you to decide if  the information is current.

Choosing Reliable Web Pages for Research

Watch this State Farm commercial - what is the message this commercial is trying to tell you about the Internet?



The Web is a great information resource, whether you are doing formal research or just learning about your favorite celebrity!  It has changed the way we create, share and access information.  Because of the open nature of the Internet, though, the quality of information varies from web site to web site.  There is no great "web editor" making sure that all of the information posted to the Internet is truthful and accurate.

Choosing a relevant web page to use for research requires more than just searching.  Since anyone can create a web page or whole web site, you must EVALUATE the web page to decide if it is from a trustworthy and authoritative author or organization, if it is accurate and factual information and if it is current or up to date information (if that is important for your topic.)

View one of the videos - 6th Grade Evaluating Web Pages or 7th-8th Grade Evaluating Web Pages before using any web resources for research so that you are armed with the skills necessary to make a good judgement call on the reliability of any web source!

Locating Web Page Citation Information

Locating Web page citation information can be a little tricky.  Not every web designer follows good web design techniques.  Take a look at the examples below to see where to look for the citation information on different type of web pages.  

Example 1 is from a news web site - CNN.

Example 2 is from a basic informational web site that follows good web design techniques.

Web Page Evaluation

Web Sites and Web Pages Diagram

web site vs web page

This image visually demonstrates the relationship between WEB SITES and WEB PAGES as defined above.

Differences Between Databases and Web Sites

Evaluating Web Pages

State Farm Commercial - Trusting the Internet

Watch this State Farm commercial - what message is it sending about the Internet?