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POLS 302 - Professor Tabares: Evaluating Sources

From your Assignment

The information on this page can be used to help you evaluate sources so you can incorporate credible and appropriate sources into your project.

Annotated Bibliography:

for each source . . .
    include a100-150 word (one paragraph) annotation that, in your own words, provides a summary and evaluation. . .
        Critical evaluation of its accuracy, relevance, and quality for this project: Is this source likely to be useful for this assignment? Is the information accurate and relevant? Is the purpose of the work, perspective and any potential bias clear and appropriate?  If you determine it to be useful, how do you anticipate using it? How is it different from other sources and what does it add to your research?

Persuasive research-based paper:

Credible and appropriate sources for this project do NOT include textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries (including wikis), tourist-related documents or similar secondary or tertiary sources intended to provide general knowledge for the public.

    These sources may be consulted for general background information and to assist in identifying appropriate and credible sources but should not to be included as part of the minimum five (5) cited sources.

Start by completing the following tasks on this page:

  1. Watch the Evaluating Sources for Credibility video.
  2. Review the CRAAP Test Plus for criteria to use to ensure the sources you use are credible and appropriate. 
  3. Review the Bonus Tip for Google.

This page builds on the Evaluating & Selecting Sources module in the in the Library Research Tutorials Canvas course

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

Bonus Tip for Google

Image of Google search bar with "gun control" site:edu in search box.

Restricts results to websites from a certain domain (.edu, .gov, .org.) and/or internet country code (official academic domains used by several countries: United Kingdom (, India ( or Indonesia (

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.