How to Research: A Tutorial
Once you’ve found a website, you must carefully evaluate it to determine if it is appropriate for college-level research. You can perform a quick scan of the website first before you even start reading, and then do a more thorough evaluation to determine if the content is appropriate for your assignment.
Evaluate your sources using the criteria below to ensure they are not CRAAP*.
- When was the website created or last updated?
- Is the information current or out-dated?
- Are the links on the website functional?
- Does the information relate to your topic or help you prove your thesis?
- Is the website appropriate for college-level work?
- Who is the author? What are his/her credentials or qualifications for writing about this topic?
- Who published the website? Is it sponsored or published by a recognized organization?
- Does the URL indicate what type of website this is? (.com; .gov; .edu; .org; .net)
- Where does the information come from? Are references or a bibliography provided?
- Can you verify the information through other sources?
- Is there evidence or links to other sources to support the information on the website?
- Are there spelling errors, grammatical errors, or typos?
- What is the purpose of the information? To inform, persuade, teach, entertain, or sell?
- Who is the intended audience? What group of people is the website meant to attract?
- What is the mission or goal of the author or sponsoring organization?
- Is the information objective and impartial? Are there any biases or prejudices evident?
*This is a modified version of the CRAAP test originally created by Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.