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ENGL 100/105 Research Guide (Wallace - Fall 2021)

Strategy for Evaluating Information

Not all sources are created equal. When you find a potential source for an assignment, how do you know whether it is a good source or not? One of the most popular evaluation techniques is the CRAAP Test.

The CRAAP Test

CURRENCY: 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 just as well?

RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information related to the topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e., is it too elementary for a college assignment?)
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in a research paper?

AUTHORITY: The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor of the information?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Does the URL provide information about the author or source?

ACCURACY: Reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the content supported by evidence?
  • Can you verify the information from another source? Is it peer-reviewed?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free from emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

PURPOSE: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • 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?


You can download this information as a handout below.

CRAAP Test Video