Week 8 (31/3): The good, the bad, and the downright mad of Internet research

Photo: Bernie Borghetti/CC/Flickr
Photo: Bernie Borghetti/CC/Flickr


Research and write a profile of a significant person from history using only Internet resources. It’s a lot trickier than you might think finding the right information, ensuring it’s factual, deciding how much of it to use, and then writing a bio in an engaging style.

If you Google Jesus Christ, for example, you’re offered more than 542 million search results. How do you decide which ones to use?

It’s okay to start with Wikipedia, but you must also use other sites to build your research. The references and other links at the bottom of a Wikipedia page are often very useful first steps.

Diligent research will identify the sources you can trust such as experts in the field and specialist websites for biographical and statistical information. Building up your knowledge of reputable media outlets will also be of great benefit.


Wikipedia: Academic use; Can you trust Wikipedia? The Guardian (2005);  Pittsburgh University’s guide to evaluating web resources and What’s Wrong with Wikipedia? The Harvard Guide to Using Sources. For an example of Wikipedia going wrong, see this entry on Ghana, which was edited during a soccer World Cup.

  1. Write a 500-word profile of the person you chose
  2. Include references to the web sites you used for your research, and 200 words explaining what, in your opinion, makes one site trustworthy and others less so
  3. Post your profile on WordPress with a CC-licensed photo or illustration
  4. If you finish quickly, write a 2-minute script version to record for radio. Concentrate on the recording quality – listen to yourself, and if you hear pops (especially on Ps and Bs) re-record  OR
  5. Make a graphic or video version with VN (Android/iOS), Kapwing, or InShot (Android/iOS) for Off Campus or socials
  6. Upload audio and videos to the Student Weekly Tasks folder in the Google Drive
BONUS CONTENT: Picks of the Week

Movie (courtesy of Brad)


The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams

The Surgeon of Crowthorne – Simon Winchester


Aunty’s accidental MD by Jane Cadzow



Author: veritychambers

Journalist and teacher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.