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The CRAAP Test -- Whether reading a book, article, or website, be an information skeptic--scrutinize, analyze, and evaluate your 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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
Relevance: how well it fits your research
• How well does this suit your topic or answer your questions?
• Who is the intended audience?
• Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
Authority: the production of the information
• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
• Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given?
• What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
• Is there a way to contact the author?
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information
• Where does the information come from?
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information?
• What evidence is provided?
Purpose: the reason the information was produced
• Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
• From what perspective does the author(s) approach the subject?
What could a writer/presenter/performer do with this source?
Based on Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A rhetorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writing. Rhetoric Review 27.1, 72-86.
Who is the author of the article and what do you know about them?
What can you find out about the journal in which the article has been published?
Read the abstract and/or the first couple of paragraphs of the article. What is the focus/thesis/primary theme of the article? Does this focus fit the theme you are interested in exploring?
Take a look at the Reference List/Bibliography of the article. Are there any promising articles, books, book chapters? Try finding books of interest in the library and articles of interest by using Primo search.