Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Arthur Millman

Second Advisor

Kate Hartford

Third Advisor

Delores Gallo


In the past ten years the Internet has been the carrier and transmitter of vast amounts of information. Most of it has never been subjected to peer review or even casual review and has therefore been the source of misinformation. Additionally, there is need for more researchers to utilize critical thinking techniques of evaluating the credibility of sources.

This paper chronicles my critical and creative thinking processes and results regarding these three areas of the information problems that are prevalent on the Internet. The first area is the problem of bad, biased or incorrect information including hoaxes and scams. I used critical thinking techniques to analyze these areas to provide a basis to define a problem to be solved.

The second area of concern is the critical thinking process that should be used to evaluate the reliability of resources and the credibility of information. This process can help prevent the Internet user from being a victim of bad or biased information. The third area deals with similar problems of information that were solved both inside and outside the Internet that could provide bases for solutions. Here, I used critical thinking in regard to other possible outcomes. I discuss what other industries such as consumer product review companies and academia have done to deal with similar problems. I take a look at Underwriters Laboratories and others who devised systems that verified the quality of product as well as research methods that assure quality of information.

I developed a conceptual framework for a software-based solution that can help assure that high quality information is presented on the Internet. I used a process of divergent and convergent thinking to arrive at a best solution. The solution allows for those who use the Internet data to leave information with or without leaving evaluation comments that describe the quality and usefulness of what was presented. The results of this user feedback are not only available to others who search for this information, but it can be presented in a prioritized form from most reviewed to least reviewed thus saving researchers time and effort while assuring a better quality of information.