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ENGL 165 Arrizon - Climate Change: Evaluating Sources

While fake news is a real concern, it is not a new problem; nor is it just a problem with news (fake research or bad science can be just as dangerous). It has always been important to evaluate the source of information - is it accurate? is it biased? is it trustworthy?

Questions in the CRAAP test were designed to use with websites, but they work just as well to prompt us to think critically about any source of information.

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Put your mouse over the tab that says Evaluating Sources.

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Internet Detective

CRAAP Method of Evaluating Websites

EVALUATING INFORMATION -- Applying the CRAAP Test

(borrowed from Meriam Library - California State University, Chico)

 

When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the

CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

 

Evaluation Criteria

 

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  •  Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs. 

  • 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?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • 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

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • 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? 

Purpose: The reason the information exists. 

  • 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?