A website may be the work of an individual, a business, or any other type of organization for that matter, which is typically dedicated to some particular topic or purpose. Websites are extremely useful in the studying of various research topics.
However when it comes to historical research, there are certain values and limitations of websites for studying this history. The aim of this paper is to examine and assess these values and limitations, in order to come to a clearer and more knowledgeable understanding on how accurate and useful websites truly are for studying history. By examining six websites in particular, we can base our results on how successful the average website is when used for studying history. Basing our historical research around the Civil War, the websites which will be used in this study will be as follows:
By thoroughly examining these six websites, we can come to a critical assessment of how accessible and resourceful the average website is in historical research. This is what will be dissertated in the following.
The immediate content of this website was professional and direct, with the home page offering separate corresponding timelines to choose from. Information such as: Civil War experience, Civil War timeline, Civil War battles, and Civil War people were also available to choose from on the home page; giving the visitor a vast array of options to choose from. In terms of visual presentation, it was accurately appropriate for the topic, and good design allowed for easy access through this site. There was in fact even a design labeled as the 'best graphic on site' in the 'Civil War Experience' page.1
Thinkquest offered a vast exhibition of useful information in regards to the Civil War, and even offered a 'Fun Fact of the day'; random factual occurrences which relate to the Civil War. The corresponding timelines offered accurate and incredibly informational timelines on the Civil War, and were significantly useful directional tools in terms of accessing around the website.
In terms of what was negative about this site, or what more could have been done, the only true factor would be in regards to the actual design layout of the page. Although all the information was easily accessible, the visible attractiveness of it could certainly be updated and laid out more efficiently. However, as a website for allocating and using resourceful information on the Civil War, it can certainly be considered overall as positive.
The Civil War Home Page
This website was easily the most informational, graphically pleasing, and overall positive out of the six. The home page itself contained more educational and resourceful information that might even be expected; while still remaining to be pleasing to the eye. The layout and content of the site was done so in a way most certainly methodologically in order to allow visitors an easily accessible and highly information tour through the site.
The immediate presentation of the website was not the only positive element; after selecting any of the numerous offered links to