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ENGWR 482 - Professor Bradford (Spring 2023): Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

The quality of our work is determined in part by the quality of the sources we use. The CRAAP Test Plus consists of questions to consider when you're determining what sources you'll rely on. 

Even if you're familiar with the CRAAP Test, please take a look at the Plus questions. I think they're essential, and they were not part of the original CRAAP Test.

The CRAAP Test Plus is a helpful tool, but if you're new to evaluating sources, or you're looking for something more in depth, I'd recommend enrolling in the ARC Library Research Tutorials and working your way through the Evaluating & Selecting Sources module.

Please let me know if you have any questions or could use some assistance evaluating sources :)

CRAAP Test Plus

Currency: The timeliness of the information.


  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

puzzle piece

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information.


  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.


  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

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 / sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

+Plus: How is the information impacted by the dominant culture? 


  • Who benefits from the story that is being told?
  • Whose voices, concerns, and experiences are included? Whose are excluded?
  • What assumptions are made? What unexamined beliefs does the author appear to have? What is the author unconscious/unaware of? 
  • What power dynamics are at work?

Original CRAAP Test created by Chico State Librarians. Plus questions inspired by the work of Angela Pashia.

Watch the C.R.A.P Test in Action: Articles & Websites

Here's how the C.R.A.P test differs from the CRAAP test; both can be used as a guide to help you evaluate your sources:

C = currency; R = reliability; A = authority; P = purpose/point of view

Watch the videos below to see how the C.R.A.P can be used to evaluate different types of sources.

NOTE: If you'd like to see the articles discussed in this video to review their qualities for yourself, click on the links below.