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TEAL 5030 Toone: Evaluate Info

[TEAL|5030|Logan Toone]

Is this source useful?

To decide if a source is helpful, you need to ask yourself some questions about the source and how it suits your purposes. Evaluation is a 2-step process!

1. 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?

2. Reflective questions: Question yourself

  • Is the source relevant to me? Does it suit my needs?
  • Will the source make my paper/presentation better? could I use this source in a helpful way?

Should I trust this?

The following questions and clues can help determine whether or not to trust a website:

Where is the website coming from or who is the author?

Look for clues like…

  • an “About” or “More about the Author” link
  • the domain name (.edu, .com, .mil, .gov, .org)

Does the website present a certain bias or specific opinion?

Look for clues like…

  • links or references to other websites or sources that might be associated with specific biases
  • the language being used

Can you tell when it was published?

Look for clues like…

  • phrases that include the words “updated” or “published”
  • specific dates

Who is the target audience for the website?

Look for clues like…

  • references to specific organizations or groups of people
  • advertisements that might be targeting specific groups



Popular vs. Scholarly

The following table describes popular and scholarly articles and the spaces in between. It might be more helpful to think of resources as a spectrum rather than two diametrically opposed categories into which all sources must fit.

Popular vs. Scholarly chart:

thumbnail image of scholarly vs popular chart