These days, many people use the internet for their sources of information on drugs. However, many internet sites donâ€™t always have the most objective or valid information. Some websites may have a particular agenda (such as promoting the legalization of drugs, or supporting a stronger War on Drugs), and therefore use selective bias in their information. Others may be written by non-experts who are simply giving their opinion without substantiating their claims. In some cases it may be hard to tell if the information you are reading was written by an expert on substance abuse issues who works in a drug research center, or a high school student writing a blog in their parentâ€™s basement.
For your assignment you need to select one illegal drug (i.e., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.), and compare and contrast two different websites that give information about that drug. You first need to compare the information on each site. Then you need to critically analyze the information on each site in terms of its validity and objectivity. In order to do that you should address the following points in your comparison.
â€¢What is the purpose and affiliation of the organization or author of the website?
â€¢What are the authorâ€™s credentials?
â€¢Is the information current? When was the information last updated?
â€¢Does the source contain bias without evidence to back up the claims?
Finally, you need to discuss which website you find more credible and why. One good way to justify your choice is to cross-reference the information on the websites with another type of source that is known to be credible â€“ such as a peer reviewed journal article that you found on an academic database at the John Jay Library. Generally, peer reviewed articles are considered more credible because they have been checked for validity issues prior to being published. Therefore, if your websites contain information that can also be found in a peer-reviewed research article, it gives it more credibility. In other words, for this assignment, you not only have to compare the two websites, but should also find a few academic articles to cross reference the information with.
*Paper should be around 5-8 double spaced pages
*1-inch margin all around, include page numbers
* Use a 12 point font
Make sure to reference any direct quotes and to include a reference list at the end of the paper listing the websites and journal articles you used.