Image taken from: http://wikiwebb.pbworks.com/w/page/14800571/ABC's
Does the website have Author(ity)?
Can you easily find the author and publisher of the site?
Does the author have any sort of academic credentials?
Will the site let you contact the author?
Does the website contain any Bias?
Does the author affiliate themselves with any particular group, political or otherwise?
Is the language of the site overly negative or positive?
Are there any (or many) ads that appear on the page leading you to believe that the site is funded by an outside party with a particular agenda?
Is the website Current?
When was the website published?
Is the publishing date older than 5 years?
Is the website updated frequently or at all with the addition of new information?
There are, broadly speaking, three different types of essay that instructors try to elicit from their students: the narrative, or descriptive, essay; the analytical, or interpretive, essay; and the discussion essay.
A discussion essay typically requires you to take a stand on a debatable or controversial issue: " 'The Americans did not win the Revolutionary War, the British lost it.' Please discuss." It is usually a test of your ability, first, to apply the knowledge you have of a subject to construct a defensible point of view; second, to select and marshal evidence in order to support that point of view; third, to write persuasively on behalf of your chosen side of the argument; and, fourth, to consider and deal with the arguments for the opposing side—that is, assuming that you either agree or disagree with the proposition. You could take a neutral stance, in which you would need to balance opposing arguments rather than pitting them against each other. Besides giving you a choice of point of view, the discussion essay also allows you a presentational or stylistic choice. You may discuss the question relatively dispassionately, weighing the pros and cons and eventually coming down on one side or the other as a jury member might after hearing a trial. Alternatively, you may embrace one side of the argument enthusiastically and try to refute the other. In either case, you will need to know the arguments for both sides. It is not a proper discussion if you give no space to arguments for the opposing point of view, even if you do so only to expose their weakness.