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Research Process

Evaluating Sources

Once you locate information, you must evaluate it. You want to insure that the information you use is credible. But how do you do that?

This is a daunting responsibility. Establishing the credibility of a source is not a small task. Will you always get it right? No. But you should make an effort to verify the credibility of sources you use. Careful and consistent attention to validating sources should become a habit. Yes, it takes extra time. But the consequences of sloppy research are very real and can cost you in time, reputation, or worse. Think of it as an investment in your credibility. Plus, it will get you better grades in your coursework.

A widely-used method is to evaluate against a checklist of criteria. One useful checklist is the CRAAP Test since it uses an apt and memorable acronym that serves as a memory-aid for the 5 criteria: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Familiarize yourself with these standards.

Evaluating Internet Sources