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ENGL 1010: Evaluate Sources

The CRAAP Test

Before you use or rely on information provided by a source, apply the CRAAP Testby asking the following questions:

Currency:  How timely is the information? Is it the most recent information or data on the topic?
Relevance:  Is the information relevant to my research? Who is the audience?
Authority:  What is the source of the information? Is the source an authority or expert on the subject? What are the author's credentials? Is the author affiliated with an organization that might benefit from the research? Is there current contact information for the author?
Accuracy:  Is the information reliable and truthful? Is the information supported by other research?
Purpose:  Why does the information exist? Is it promoting something such a product, a particular religious, cultural or political view? Is it objective?

Life in the Information Age

This video will help you learn to navigate the complicated information landscape.

single Sign On credentials might be required to access the video. For more information about accessing CPTC Library resources off campus, please visit the OpenAthens LibGuide.

CREDO InfoLit video, "Life in the Information Age" screenshot

Evaluating Sources

Not sure if your news source is reliable? Credible information can be hard to find.

This video will help you find credible information by teaching you to critically evaluate information sources using five criteria: authority, accuracy, currency, relevance, and objectivity

Single Sign On credentials might be required to access the video. For more information about accessing CPTC Library resources off campus, please visit the OpenAthens LibGuide.

CREDO InfoLit video, "Evaluating Sources." screenshot.

Evaluating Sources

Special thanks to North Carolina State University Libraries for sharing this tutorial. See more here.

The transcript for this video can be found here.

 

Fact-Checker Sites

Types of Sources

Image book cover for Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

primary source was written or created by someone who was a participant or witness to the event. Examples of primary sources include diaries/journals, letters, speeches, autobiographies, news footage of an event as it happened, or artifacts (such as pottery, or a quilt). Ask yourself, "Did the writer or creator witness or experience the event?"

 

Image book cover for Hidden Figures


secondary source is not a first-hand or eyewitness account. This source is one step removed from the primary source. It's written after the fact. Think of a secondary source as an interpretation or analysis of a primary source. A journal article may rely on primary sources, but the article itself is a secondary source. An author who studies the speeches and diaries of a subject, and then writes a book, is creating a secondary source.

 

Image book cover for African American Desk Reference

So what's a tertiary source? It's the source such as a catalog, bibliography or index that leads the researcher to primary and secondary sources.

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