Can You Learn from a URL?
Where does this link take you?
If you guessed the Federal Bureau of Investigation Web
site, you're right. The site name gives you two clues:
.gov—top-level domain: a government
Knowing how to read URLs helps you
evaluate the credibility of a site. For example, domains like Tripod
and Angelfire belong to free hosting sites. Sites are put up by individual
users; some are excellent, while others are full of misleading information.
You might assume
that an org is
a nonprofit site that provides objective information. However,
consider www.stemcellresearch.org. Actually,
it's a group that opposes embryonic stem cell research.
Sometimes you have to dig to find out the sponsor of
a site. Take anti-smoking programs as an example. SHIP is
funded by the National Cancer Institute, as explained on its home
page. What about Right
Decisions, Right Now? If you follow the link to About the Program
and read carefully, you'll discover that the program is sponsored
by a big tobacco company.
So the URL won't tell you everything you need to know.
How can you find out who sponsors a site?
- Check out links like Site
Sponsor, About Us, or Contact Us
- Visit the home page. If there's no link, chop off everything after
the first /
e.g., shorten http://word-crafter.net/CompII to http:word-crafter.net
- For more tips, see Jerz's URL-Hacking.
How to Read a URL
The abbreviation URL stands
for Uniform Resource Locator.
An URL looks like this:
protocol://host name/path to document/file
http: = protocol
(HyperText Transfer protocol)
word-crafter = host name (my business
.net = domain
Comp II = folder for course support site
.html, .doc, .ppt, .pdf =
files you can access
How to read an APA citation for a Web site
An entire Web site
If you want to refer to an entire Web site, all you need to do
is mention it in parentheses right after
you talk about it.
Big tobacco companies have sponsored several campaigns
to stop teens from smoking. For example,
R. J. Reynolds has an anti-smoking Web site
When you mention an entire Web site, do not include the site in
your reference list.
A document from a Web
If you want to refer to a document on a Web site, you should provide
enough information so that a reader can go
directly to the document.
The first part
of your reference citation is
just like that for a print article: give
the author (if known), the date of publication,
and the title of the article. Then give information
about how you retrieved the article.
industry "prevention" programs. (1999,
May). Retrieved July 1, 2005, from the Americans
for Nonsmokers' Rights Web site: http://www.no-smoke.org/document.php?id=276
Notice the site name: Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. Including
the site name in the citation helps readers
identify the site's bias, or point of view.
|How to find what you need to cite a Web
Designers are free to create Web sites any way they want. That
means that an author's name may appear at the beginning
of a page, at the end, under "About Us," or nowhere
Sites may also have many headings that are intended to help people
know where they are on a site. For example,
CNN organizes articles about legal issues
on a page called Law
Center. However, you would cite the headline for the article
(such as Millionaire
guilty of murder) in
your reference list. Some sites, such as
TherapistFinder.net, provide advice
on how to cite an article if you scroll down
to Evaluate Information (USCS)