Website Evaluation


Peter Papadopoulos
INT 296B
Dr. Driver/Dr. Meyer

With the number of websites available on the Web on any given topic, one expects to find a varying degree of value and information. This expectation held true when looking for websites concerning Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales and King Arthur. The consulted sites include http://www.librarius.com, http://www.icg.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/, and http://www.csis.pace.edu/grendel/prjs3f/arthur1.htm. Each offers a good amount of content; however, other aspects keep one of these sites from reaching its full potential.

This is http://www.librarius.com. The site deals with Geoffrey Chaucerís The Canterbury Tales. Although it seems to be an educational website, it appears to care more about advertising. Every page that is a part of this site is littered with at least two to three advertisements. It gets a little confusing as to which links will have good content to view. There are links to essays about the different tales in Chaucerís literary work that appear to be useful. However, when some of these links are clicked, they are dead and do not lead to anything of use. An instance of a dead link is the essay titled "Chaucer and Religion" which can be found in the Parsonís Tale section. A chronology of Chaucerís life is also offered on this site. It gives an interesting timeline that puts the events of his life against the events occurring in the world around him. Overall, this site has good content, but the negative aspects, which include dead links and too many advertisements, make this site fall short of being a worthwhile resource.

The next consulted site is http://www.icg.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/. As one can see from the message posted on the main page of this site, it is meant to be a general Geoffrey Chaucer site. However, as of now, this site mostly draws from The Canterbury Tales. However, this site still offers information about Chaucerís life, including a timeline of the events in his life. But the important content is the discussion of the tales. The site offers a summary and commentary on many, if not all, of the tales. Besides one picture that did not load, the site functions perfectly, with no dead links. There is also an in-depth list of Chaucer-related websites. This site is a very good resource for studying Chaucerís The Canterbury Tales.

The final site to discuss is http://www.csis.pace.edu/grendel/prjs3f/arthur1.htm. This is a website made for the INT296B class from a previous year. This site focuses on the King Arthur legends. It is a comprehensive site that features in depth descriptions of the main characters of the King Arthur legends. The site also has possible genealogies of Arthur and maps of Arthurís empire. Definitions of key terms can be found here as well. An image map of a tapestry offers information about different aspects of knights and knighthood. Overall, this website has a lot of information which, along with its good presentation of material, makes this a useful tool in learning about Arthurian legends.

In conclusion, each of the consulted sites has a sufficient amount of information. However, the two that stand out are the ones done by students and posted by their universities. The one that falls short of being a useful site, http://www.librarius.com, seems to have a more commercial agenda. On the other hand, the university sites focus more on educating on the given topic. When one searches for a site on a specific topic, more often than not, he or she will find a varying amount of usefulness. Since anyone who has access to certain computer equipment can put up a website there will likely be some sites that do not have correct or comprehensive information. The Canterbury Tales and the King Arthur legends are very broad topics which offer a lot of material. The Canterbury Tales, for example, have several characters that have their own prologues and tales, some of which are lengthy. Therefore there is going to be a lot of material on the Web regarding The Canterbury Tales. When that occurs one must use judgment in deciding which sites will be worthwhile.


Works Cited

http://www.csis.pace.edu/grendel/prjs3f/arthur1.htm Consulted on 10/24/2000.

http://www.icg.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/ Consulted on 10/24/2000.

http://www.librarius.com Consulted on 10/24/2000.



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