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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

 

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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