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ENGH 101: Composition

General & topic-specific databases and "How To" tutorials. Get started here to find books, locate articles, develop search strategies...and more!

Evaluating Information

Evaluating information and reading sources with a critical eye is an important part of your research. Outlined below are two methods for evaluating information. 

The CRAAP Test

CRAAP* is an acronym for remembering criteria you need to use when evaluating information.

  • Currency: When was the information published or last updated?
  • Relevance: Does the information answer your research questions appropriately? How does it help you? Who is the intended audience?
  • Authority: Who are the authors and what are their credentials?
  • Accuracy: Was the piece reviewed by editors or scholars? Is there supporting evidence? Can you verify the accuracy of the information? Is there a bibliography or list of cited sources?
  • Purpose: Is the author’s purpose to sell, persuade, entertain, or inform? Is the information or author biased? Do the authors make their intentions clear?

*CRAAP acronym and descriptions created by the Meriam Library at CSU, Chico. (http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/evalsites.html)

The ABCDEs

Evaluating information is as easy as A, B, C, D, E.

  • AuthorWho is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?  What are the author's credentials?
  • BiasWhat is the purpose of the information source?  Is the information biased?  Is it fact, opinion, or propaganda?  Does the point of view appear objective or impartial?  Do the authors make their intentions clear?
  • ContentHow truthful and reliable is the information? Is the content presented clearly, concisely, and cogently? Does it follow established standards of scholarly communication or journalism? Is the information well-written and professionally presented? 
  • Date: When was this information published?  How current is the information? How important is currency to your field of study?
  • Evidence: Are the claims made in the information source supported by evidence?  Is the evidence presented sufficient to make the author's/creator's argument? What evidence might have been overlooked?  Are there citations for the sources noted?