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ENGL 1301 West - Evaluative Essay: Evaluating Information

Evaluating Resources - Tips

*Be skeptical when evaluating any information source.

*This is especially true for World Wide Web pages, because they are less likely to be subject to quality control measures such as editorial oversight.

*Anyone can put information on the Internet.

Consider these factors when evaluating a source:

Currency - How current is the information?

Relevance - Does this source really fit in? Does it relate to your topic?

Authority - Who wrote or published your source?  What are their credentials?

Accuracy - How does your source hold up?  Does the information seem correct?  Is there outside support?

Purpose - Why was your source written - to inform, persuade, or sell?

Evaluating Information

For more about evaluating your sources and the CRAAP criteria, see the Evaluating Information tutorial.

Evaluating Information Tutorial Image, see link below

Is it CRAAP?

What is CRAAP?
CRAAP is a set of criteria designed by California State University, Chico to help you find the best sources for your school work. It is a good starting point for evaluating sources for academic purposes like papers, reports and speeches.

Is it CRAAP?
Use the following rubric to help you choose sources for your paper or other school work.


Look out! Image

Caution image

Top Quality!   
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The source is out of date/too old.

The source is not out of date, but it doesn’t reflect the latest advances or ideas.

The source is recent, and has information about the latest advances and ideas.


The source is unrelated to your topic or doesn’t help you make your argument.

The source has a small amount of information about your topic, but not enough to clearly support your case.

The source is directly related to your topic, and clearly helps to support your argument.


The author is unknown, or not an expert in the topic.

The author is known, but not an expert in the topic.

The author is known and is an expert in the topic.


Facts seem incorrect or are not supported by other sources or citations.

Facts seem correct but are not cited.

Facts are correct and backed up by citations and other sources


The source is intended to sell something, or seems to only focus on one side of an argument or issue.

The source is intended to provide information and discusses multiple views of an argument or issue.

The source is intended to provide information and it presents multiple views of an argument or issue, or makes a strong case for one-side supported by many citations from other sources.

Be skeptical of all sources that you find whether online or in print. Use CRAAP or your own personal criteria to find sources that are approriate for your purpose. Your criteria for sources for academic work may be very different than your criteria for sources for personal use. It all depends on the situation.

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