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CNSL 2200: Introduction to Student Leadership: Evaluate Sources

Evaluating Information Sources

Your instructors will expect you to use credible sources for your writing assignments.  Evaluating sources is difficult, but asking yourself some critical questions about each of your potential sources can really help. The following questions are just a starting point, but can help you quickly weed out less useful sources and then more closely examine what you have left. 

Does the source help answer your specific research question

Do you understand the source?  Do you need any background information to understanding specialized terminology?

Does the source conform to your assignment instructions?

Is the source useful for your project?  (e.g., gives background information; leads to additional sources; provides corroborating evidence or verification; presents an opposing viewpoint)

How to Spot Fake News (IFLA)

Evaluating Sources for Credibility - Video

CRAAP Test - Evaluation Criteria

The CRAAP Test is a set of five evaluation criteria and related questions to help guide thinking about whether a source is credible or not.  CRAAP is an acronym for:






The CRAAP Test is not intended to be a checklist or rating system.  Judgment is necessary to decide whether an article is credible or not.  Evaluating criteria for quality becomes easier with practice.

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