Speech & Debate - Summer Session 2021 - Rev. Finocchiaro: Free Web Sources

by Beth Tompkins

Searching the Free Web for Sources

Keep in mind that searching for sources on the web will give you a vast array of results.  If you were only looking for quantity, this would be wonderful.  While searching the free web seems like an efficient and quick way to conduct research, the time you must spend evaluating results may actually slow you down.  That said, there are many things you may not find in subscription databases that could be useful.  Because of this, it is important for you to have a method of evaluating your resources found with a web search.  

When searching the free web, one helpful strategy is to use "[type search term here] site: .edu - -  or .org, or .gov"  in the search bar.  This will yield educational, organizational, or governmental results that will likely be credible and will omit results from ".com" commercial website results.  Also, try "DuckDuckGo" for your internet search, rather than Google, to get different algorithmic results and to avoid having your searches tracked for commercial purposes.  

The items below are some selected websites and also, tools/checklists designed to help you evaluate a source found on the web.  Please don't hesitate to talk to a librarian if you need help!

Sample Speeches from the Free Web

Evaluating Sources Found on the Web