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ENGWR 302 (online) - Professor Blunk (Fall 2020): Evaluating Sources

What Should I Do on This Page?

Read the content in the "Using the C.R.A.P Test to Evaluate Sources" box, then watch the "C.R.A.P Test in Action" videos. 

After watching the video, for practice, use what you learned about evaluating sources to complete the "Evaluation Exercise" on gun control.

The information on this page is critical for helping you learn how to find credible online sources, so strive to make sure you have a firm understanding of the content before you move on. 

Remember, if you have any questions about how to evaluate online sources, you can email me or contact any one of the ARC librarians.

Using the C.R.A.P Test to Evaluate Sources

In the video below, you'll learn tips that will help you find credible internet sources appropriate for an academic assignment. 

Before you watch the video, read the following for an brief introduction to some of the essential keywords and concepts that will be introduced:

  • Currency - when considering the currency of a site, you'll examine the date it was updated and/or when the content was published.
  • Reliability- to determine reliability, you'll want to consider whether the information in the source is based on facts and statistics?  Is the author's argument balanced and shows both sides of an issue?  Does the author provide credible references for data and quotations?
  • Authority - an authoritative source should be written by a qualified author whose credentials or experience support their credibility to report on the topic being written about.
  • Purpose/Point of View - What is the reason the information exists?  Is it to sell, teach, entertain, persuade, etc.?  Is the information fact or opinion? 

In order to find credible sources, it's imperative that you use your critical thinking skills and the terms above to evaluate the sources you discover before using them in your research.

Remember, if you have any questions about this process or the information in these videos, please contact me.

Sources: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries & University of Toledo, Writing Center

Evaluation Exercise

These three websites were found with the same Google search: "gun control".  Briefly look at each one and then answer the following question:
Which of the websites below would you MOST likely to use for a research project?

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

NOTE: If you'd like to see the articles discussed in this video to review their qualities for yourself, click on the links below.  They are arranged by order or appearance.

NOTE: If you'd like to see the websites discussed in this video to review their qualities for yourself, click on the links below.  They are arranged by order or appearance.