Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SPC 1608 (Goodwin) - Informative Speeches: Exploring Websites


On this tab, students can explore information about how search engines, such as Google, work, and practice evaluating websites to select the best information for college-level speeches.

How Search Engines Work

This short video will provide you with an overview of how Google and similar search engines work. A search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, or Bing, uses the company’s search formula to find information on the web.

Search engines are:

  • Useful when seeking organization/individual/government information
  • Useful for finding government or international statistical data (ex. how many dolphins die each year and potentially what causes)
  • Search engine company search formulas often use your previous search history and a website’s popularity to influence search results
  • Content can be written by anyone, so remember to evaluate sources for author/source credibility, reliability of information, audience, bias, whether the information is up-to-date

How to Evaluate a Website

A key expectation of college-level research is that you will gather information from credible sources. Websites, articles, books, and media can all be credible sources -- or not. There is much to learn about selecting credible sources; however, "The C.R.A.A.P. Test" provides a handy acronym to get you started. The letters stand for five basic criteria you can use to evaluate sources.

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose
  1. Use Google, or another search engine, to find information related to your speech topic.
  2. Using the handout above practice evaluating some of the websites. This may include moving beyond search results 1, 2, or 3. Remember you will be giving a college-level speech.
  3. After evaluating 3 or more websites, select the "best" source that would support your topic.
  4. Consider if there are any holes in the information provided by your selected website? This might indicate that you need additional information.