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Communication 4473: Survey of Political Communication: Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information: The CRAAP Test

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of -date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level; not too elementary or too advanced?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determing this is the one you will use use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on this topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? For example: .com (commercial); .edu (educational); .gov (government); .org (organization); .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness,and correctness of the infromation content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supposrted by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Source Evaluation Link

Fake News & Alternative Facts

Tools to help you evaluate websites