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ENGL 3630: Evaluating Sources

[ENGL|3630|Rosa Lee Thornley]

Strategy 1:

How Does Your Source Measure Up?

Information is not created equal. You will need to evaluate each source you want to use in your research. Use the criteria below to help you evaluate information for credibility and help you determine if it fits your situation. 



  • Who is/are the author(s)?
  • What are the authors' credentials?
  • Do the authors have any potential biases?
  • Who is the authors' intended audience?



  • What's the authors' purpose?
  • What's the authors' thesis or argument?
  • Are multiple perspectives included?
  • Can you detect any bias? 



  • When was it written?
  • Is the information outdated?
  • Is the information still relevant?
  • Is more current information available?



  • Where did the authors get their information?
  • Did the authors cite any sources for their arguments?
  • Is the information based in fact?
  • Where was it published?



  • Why is the source useful?
  • Why is it relevant to your topic?
  • How will it enhance your argument?
  • Does it meet your paper requirements?


Strategy 2:

The CRAAP test: Question your source

Currency: How recent is this information? Has it been updated? Is it current enough for your topic?

Reliability: Is it fact or opinion? Are there references to the sources of information?

Authority: Who is the creator or author? What are the author's credentials?

Accuracy: Where does the information come from? Is the information supported by evidence?

Purpose: Is it biased? Are they trying to sell you something--either a product or an idea?





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