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Critical Analysis: Evaluating Sources

CRAAP Test: Evaluating Secondary Sources

Currency: (The timeliness of the information)

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • 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 using this source for a research paper?

Authority:  (The source of the information)

  •  Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Does the author have a reputation?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail 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 informational 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 other typographical errors?

Purpose: (The reason the information exists)

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Created by Merriam Library, California State University, Chico

CRAAP Test