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Mandel Continuing Scholar Summer Seminar

A guide for students completing research in the Mandel Continuing Scholars program.

Evaluating Sources

Before using any information you should critically evaluate source, especially if it is from a website.  

Put it through the CRA(A)P Test

CURRENCY: Is the material current? Does it contain outdated or disproven information? Is the site updated regularly?

RELEVANCE/RELIABILITY: Does the source answer your questions?  Does it provide useful information? Is it too complicated to understand or too elementary?

AUTHORITY: Who is the author? What can you find out about them? Can you determine their credentials? Are they a qualified expert? Is the author's contact info listed?

(ACCURACY: What evidence does the author use? Are facts documented? Is there a bibliography?)

PURPOSE: Why was the information created: to inform, to sell, to persuade? Is it fact or opinion? Is the information biased? 

The CRAAP Test was created by Merriam Library, California State University at Chico

Primary and Secondary Sources