How do you know if a source is good enough to use? Watch the video below and then follow up by reviewing the questions below which provide a way for you to evaluate the sources you find, whether online or via the library's collections.
How to Evaluate Sources Using the CRAAP Criteria
These are questions you can ask yourself when evaluating a potential source to help you decide if it is of high enough quality to use.
• When was it published or posted?
• Has is been revised or updated?
• Does it relate to your topic or answer your question?
• Who is the intended audience?
• Is it written at an appropriate level (i.e. not below or above your needs)?
• Have you looked at a variety of sources?
• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations given? • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
• Where does the information come from?
• Is it supported by evidence?
• Has it been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of it 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?
• What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
• Is it fact? opinion? propaganda? objective? impartial?
• Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Video: Scholarly vs. Popular
What does it mean when your professor asks you to use scholarly sources? Watch the brief video below and then review the characteristics in the chart below to be reminded of the difference between popular and scholarly sources.