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Is it a good resource, or is it CRAAP?
Good sources enhance the credibility and persuasiveness of an argument, while a source that lacks credibility can destroy it. Use the following criteria to ensure your source is a good one:
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Is the information current or out-of-date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?
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
Who is the author/publisher/source?
What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
What does the URL extension reveal about the author or source? (.com, .edu, .gov, .org)
Does the author cite their sources?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intention or purpose clear?
Is the information Fact? Opinion? Propaganda?
Adapted from a handout developed by librarians at Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, 2004
Things to Watch Out For
Self-published material (this means it hasn't been edited or reviewed by someone else)
No author named
Inflammatory or emotional language
Statistics, facts, or research referred to but not cited
Opinions presented as fact
Statements/conclusions that contradict other credible sources
TIME Magazine: U.S. Edition