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Sociology 111 - South Bend-Elkhart

Evaluating Sources - The CRAAP Test



What is The CRAAP Test?

C.R.A.A.P. is a test you can use to determine if your sources are trustworthy. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Try using the CRAAP test next time you need to evaluate your sources.

Currency - This refers to the timeliness of the information you have found. Use some of these questions to evaluate currency:

  • When was the information published?
  • Has the information ever been revised or updated?
  • Is your information out-of-date or is it current?
  • Are the links in the information functional? 

Relevance - This refers to the importance of the information you need. Use these questions to evaluate relevance:

  • Does the information you found relate to the topic you chose?
  • Who is the intended audience of your source?
  • Is the information found at the level you need? (Not too advanced or not advanced enough?)
  • Have you looked at multiple sources before choosing the one you will use? 
  • Are you comfortable using this source for your academic paper?

Authority – This refers to the source of the information. Here are some questions to evaluate authority:

  • Is it clear who the author or source is?
  • Does it list the author’s credentials or organizations they are affiliated with?
  • Are they qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information for the author?
  • Does the URL show anything about the author or source?
  • Examples:
  • .com (commercial)
  • .edu (educational)
  • .gov (U.S. Government)
  • .org (nonprofit organization)
  • .net (network)

Accuracy – This refers to the correctness, truthfulness, and the reliability of the content. Here are some questions to help evaluate accuracy:

  • Are the sources for the information listed?
  • Is there any evidence to support the information?
  • Can you verify the information from another source?
  • Is the information free from bias or emotion?
  • Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes?

Purpose – This refers to the reason the information exists. Use these questions to evaluate purpose:

  • Is the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Is the author's intention clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view seem impartial and objective?
  • Does the information show any political, personal, religious, or ideological bias?