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Evaluating Your Sources: Evaluating Your Sources

Is it CRAAP?

The C.R.A.A.P. test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria:  Ask questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.

Currency

 Relevancy

 Accuracy

Authority

Purpose/Point of View

-- from California State University, Chico‚Äč

 

CURRENCY

When was the information published?

Has the information been revised or updated?

Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well? 

If there are links, do they direct you to a reliable outside source?

RELEVANCY

Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? 

Who is the intended audience?

Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper? 

ACCURACY

Where does the information come from?

Is the information supported by evidence?

Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?

Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?  

AUTHORITY

Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?

Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

PURPOSE/POINT OF VIEW

What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?

Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?

Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?

Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases? 

Check for Understanding

Use the following tutorial to help you understand how to break down a website.