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Evaluating Sources

A guide to basic evaluation skills for sources.

Are your sources credible?

The CRAAP test is one quick way of checking to see if your sources are credible and good to use for your research.

CRAAP Test

Currency

How current is the information?

Relevance

Is the information related to your needs?

Authority

The author's expertise

Accuracy

Is the information correct?

Purpose

The reason the information exists

 

The CRAAP test was created by librarian Sarah Blakeslee at California State University, Chico.

Bias

When trying to spot bias, ask yourself these questions: 

1. What kind of information is it?

Is it news? Opinion? Ad? Does it appeal to your emotions, or does it make you think?

2. Who and what are the sources cited, and why should you believe them?

Are the sources given? Are the sources associated with a political party or special interest group?

3. What’s the evidence, and how was it vetted?

What’s the evidence, and how was it vetted? Is the source a document? Witness? Or is it hearsay/speculation?

4: Is the main point of the piece proven by the evidence?

Did the sources provided justify the conclusion or main point of the story?

5. What’s missing?

Was there an aspect or point that was not covered or unclear that you are left wondering about?

 

Based on questions from the American Press Institute.

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