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SOAN 465: Ethnography of Virtual Selves (Kurotani): Evaluating Sources

Questions to Ask

1. Who is the author? Is he/she a scholar? A historian? A social scientist? A journalist? A blogger? Is it or is it not clear who the author is?

2. What was the author's purpose for writing this article/book/website? Who is the intended audience? How do you know?

3. What kinds of evidence does the author use? Does the author document her/his sources? Does the author rely on opinion or unsubstantiated claims?

4. What kinds of questions can we ask using this article/book/website?

5. What questions are we unable to answer using this article/book/website?

The CRAAP Test: Evaluating Your Sources

The CRAAP Test -- Whether reading a book, article, or website, be an information skeptic--scrutinize, analyze, and evaluate your sources.

• 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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
• 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?
• 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?
• Where does the information come from?
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information?
• Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion? 
• Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
• Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?