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ENGL 100 - David Lau

Edited Version 2020 LM

Evaluate and assess sources so that your contributions shine

An important part of the research and writing process is identifying the quality and trustworthiness of your sources, as well as how well they meet the needs of your project.

  1. Evaluate your source to determine how relevant, credible, and trustworthy it is
  2. Assess how well the source meets the needs of your particular project
  3. Decide how to proceed: Make decisions about which of the sources you have found will support your writing. You may also find that you need to search for other sources that will be better.


This video reviews recommended evaluation criteria to use while determining the quality and credibility of your sources.

CRAAPP Evaluation Criteria

Currency: Is the publication or posting date appropriate? Has it been updated? Medical, technology, & certain topics require more currency than others.

Relevance: How well does the source specifically address your research concepts? Does it address part or all of your topic question? Is the work written for an appropriate audience level? What age group is targeted or level of professional expertise is required for understanding the writing, for example.

Authority: Who is the creator (author, editor, organization, publisher, etc.)? What level of expertise do they have? What type of authority do they have--subject expertise, societal position, special experience? How does this creator apply or relate to the other evaluation criteria?

Accuracy: Is it easy to verify the information supplied in the source? Look for works cited lists, statistics, charts, & tables. Also look for information about publishers and other organizations affiliated with source--this could be funders, other sponsors, and corporate bodies. 

Purpose: What is the goal or purpose of the creator? Is the creator up front about the purpose? What is the goal or purpose of other organizations affiliated with the source? Do they wish to inform, persuade, entertain, teach, sell? Do they seek to misinform or propagandize? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or other personal biases present? Is the point of view impartial and objective? 

Process: Does the process used to create or publish the source have any implications regarding its usefulness for your research project? Is the source content reviewed, edited, or have another formal quality control process?

Going Beyond the CRAAP Test - Think Like a Fact Checker