I need help finding the right URL web site to search Robin Hood to help answer these questions. 1.  Find a web site with information about Robin Hood.  Must be a web site other than Wikipedia....

I need help finding the right URL web site to search Robin Hood to help answer these questions.

1.  Find a web site with information about Robin Hood.  Must be a web site other than Wikipedia.

2.  Whose Web site is it?  What organization or person maintains it?  Is there any contact information such as an e-mail or postal address?

3.  Does the site specialize in a kind of information that people would want? Is it devoted specifically to Robin Hood?  Explain briefly.

4.  Is the site biased?

5.  Who wrote the page?  What are this person's qualifications to write about Robin Hood?

6.  Does the site provide sources?  If so, what kind of references does it give (for example, are they to books or to websites)?

7.  Based on your answers given so far, do you think this web site is reliable.

Explain briefly why or why not, by mentioning the evidence from each of the answers from questions #3 to #6.

8.  If you decided that the source was reliable, then use the source to answer the following question.  If you decided it was unreliable, then use the Wikipedia entry on Robin Hood instead.

Based on a reliable web site, did Robin Hood live in Sherwood Forest?  Explain the answer giving specific details.  For example, if he did, then when did he live there.  If not, then where did he live? 

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of this is going to be dependent on your research and the perception that you have of your research.  The Purdue Owl Sources below are very good resources for starting in terms of being able to assess the validity of websites. There are some challenges given the topic.  There is some historical accuracy regarding a figure named Robin Hood.  Where the challenge arises is how much the folklore gets in the way of understanding the historicity.  The issue of website validity is another factor that impacts the historical analysis. 

There are many different websites that you can use in terms of testing or assessing their validity in terms of Robin Hood information.  The sources I have pulled up are:

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/robin_01.shtml
  • http://d.lib.rochester.edu/robin-hood/text/chandler-robin-hood-development-of-a-popular-hero
  • http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/robin-hood

There are many more, but you can use these as a starting point.  In terms of who maintains these sites, organizations such as the BBC, The History Channel, and the University of Rochester are the maintaining entities.  For each website, there is a place to initiate contact.  All three sites are focused on Robin Hood. The BBC and the History Channel Websites are dedicated to Robin Hood, but also feature other historical elements within them.  For example, the History Channel analysis talks about the legends that surround Robin Hood and gives more surface readings of the topic, as opposed to something in depth.  The University of Rochester website is dedicated solely to Robin Hood and the topic's scholarship.  The University of Rochester site gives more background to Robin Hood, but all three sites feature relevant information about and surrounding Robin Hood.  Only the University of Rochester site has specific authors that can be attributed in the writing process.  On the site, there is background texts that authors like John Chandler have written, in order to give the reader more insight as to the qualifications of the author.  The BBC Website contains hyperlinks to other sites in the BBC domain that could enrich the knowledge of the reader on Robin Hood, while the University of Rochester site gives more background information in terms of other writings in the form of pdfs and hyperlinks to other sites.  The History Channel website does not contain any additional enrichment in terms of information.  I do think that the three websites contain reliability and are strong sources that can be used in the research of Robin Hood.  I think that the University of Rochester site contains more indepth analysis of Robin Hood because it analyzes the historiography of the topic.  As mentioned, the detailed analysis with specific authors and delving into the background of these authors in their writing about the topic helps to give credence to the website and the people generating content on it.  In terms of how each website addresses if Robin Hood lives in Sherwood Forest, the answers are muddled.  The History Channel website does not really address it in specifics:  "We may never know for sure whether Robin Hood ever existed outside the verses of ballads and pages of books. "  The BBC website speaks to Robin Hood's historical whereabouts with a bit more of specificity when it suggests, "Legend has it that Robin lived in Sherwood Forest which in his time covered roughly 100,000 acres. Robin is thought to have become an outlaw there by 1225."  However, the historical analysis is not as strong as it could be, even though it asserts the evidence.  The University of Rochester Website surveys the academic literature regarding Robin Hood, and it stands to reason that within this survey of texts, one can find greater sources of historical validity to address the historical conditions that envelop Robin Hood. Additionally, the Wikipedia entry contains multiple sources that can help address historical realities about Robin Hood.  These are simply from the findings of the three websites that I surveyed.  Given how much there is on the web, there can be more resources from which to choose that can help you on your webquest in separating fact from fiction on the historical identity of Robin Hood.