I Evaluate Sources as I Search

I don't want to turn in my annotated bibliography and have my instructor tell me my sources are bad and that I have to redo all or a lot of my research. Instead, I evaluate the sources as I find them. Then I won't have to go back and redo my searches. I might have to do a little extra searching to fill out any "holes" in my report, but that will be easy.

Step 5: Telling the CRAAP from the Good Stuff

There are many evaluation systems around. You may have used some in middle school or high school.
Purdue OWL: Evaluating Sources
Oregon School Library Information System: Evaluate Sources
Kathy Schrock: Critical Evaluation of Information
QUICK: Quality Information Checklist

For this project, I'm going to use the CRAAP Test, a system designed by the staff of the Meriam Library at the University of California, Chico. See the bookmark handed out in class or visit the Web version.
  • C = Currency 
  • R = Relevance
  • A = Authority
  • A = Accuracy
  • P = Purpose
If a source passes the CRAAP Test, it's safe to use in an academic paper. If it doesn't pass the CRAAP Test, then it's crap and I need to throw it out and look for something better.

I evaluate each source as I add it my research log. I want to make sure that I only use credible sources, and it's easier to evaluate while I'm searching than to evaluate later and have to do additional research just before I finish writing my paper.

Test Your Skills!
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