UNST 109A & 109K Portland - Batchelder: Evaluate & Cite Sources

C.R.A.P. Test for Evaluating

Use the following criteria to help you evaluate the information you find and determine if the source is gold, or if it is just C.R.A.P.

Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating a source:

Currency: the timeliness of the information

When was the information published or posted?

Has the information been revised or updated?

Is the information current enough for your topic?

Are the links functioning?

Reliability:  the accuracy, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

Where does the information come from?

Is the information supported by evidence?

Are there references given for the information?

Can you verify the information in another source?

Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?  

Are there links to sources or further information?  What do these links tell you?

Authority: the source of the information

Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?

Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliation given?  If so, what are they?

What are the author's qualifications to write about this topic?

Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?

Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Purpose:  the reason the information exists

What is the purpose of the information?  Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?

Do the authors make their intentions or purposes clear?

Is there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal bias?

Are there ads on the site?

Who is the intended audience?  Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs?

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

What is a Citation?

A citation gives credit to the original author(s) of a work. Citations also allow people who are reading your work to be able to find the original sources of information. 

Basic citations for a book, for example, include the name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), the title of the book, the publisher's name, the place of publication, and the most recent copyright year.

There are a number of styles that can be used to construct citations. Each style specifies the information to be included in the citation, the order of the information,the format, and the punctuation.  

Your instructor may require a particular style. If there is not an assigned style, then choose a style and be consistent with that style throughout your work.

Online Citation Guides

Using Automatic Citation Generators Video