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College-wide Composition 1 Research Guide

Research guide for ENC 1101 - Composition 1

Evaluating Resources (CRAAP)

Search results are selected by computer software, not by human experts. Use the following list of questions to carefully evaluate what you find.
*See the PDF version of the list at the bottom of this box: CRAAP Test for Evaluating Resources*


CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information

  • Does your assignment require current information?
  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated recently?
  • Are the links on the website up-to-date?


RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for your audience (i.e. not too basic or advanced)?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper or speech?


AUTHORITY: The source of the information

  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
  • Is an email address or phone number provided for the author/source?
  • Has the author stated their credentials or organizational affiliations? Hint: Look up the author in a biographical reference source.
  • Is the author qualified to write on this topic?
  • Does the website URL tell you anything about the author or source? Hint: .edu .gov .org .com


ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Is the information supported by evidence? Hint: Is there a References, Bibliography, or Works Cited list?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed? Hint: Is the source a scholarly or peer-reviewed journal?
  • Can the information be verified with another source? Hint: Verify questionable facts, statistics, etc. with a reputable source. Don't depend on one source for all of your information, especially if you are not familiar with the topic.
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
  • Is the language unbiased and free of emotion?


PURPOSE: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear? Hint: On websites look for links that say "About Us" "Philosophy" or "Mission."
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? Hint: If the source deals with a controversial topic, look for an identification of the author's bias.
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?


* modified from Evaluating Information -- Applying the CRAAP Test from California State University, Chico.