Evaluating information

To decide what information is best for your assignment you need to evaluate it carefully to check its quality and that it's relevant and useful.

To do this, use the CRAAP test:

CRAAP Test - Current, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

The CRAAP test will help you think critically about what you read and figure out if it is suitable for your assignment. Watch the video below to learn more.

 

Current

  • How up to date is the information or resource?
  • When was it published or posted?
  • When was it last updated?
  • Was it within the last 10 years? (This is the timeframe for research to be considered current.)

Relevant

  • Does the information relate to your assignment question?
  • Is it at the right academic level, or is it more general?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Did you check other sources before deciding that this information is right for your assignment?

Authority

  • What is the source of the information?
  • Who wrote it?
  • What are their qualifications or credentials?
  • Are they an expert on this topic?
  • Have other experts approved the author's work?
  • Does the URL show anything about the source? For example, .edu, .com, .ac.nz.

Accuracy

  • Is the source reliable?
  • Is the information supported by evidence and references?
  • Can you verify the information against other sources?
  • Does the information seem unbiased?

Purpose

  • Why has the information been produced? To entertain, persuade, inform, or sell something? This could indicate bias.
  • Is the information fact or opinion? If it's opinion, is it backed up with evidence?
  • Is the language emotive or neutral?

While these steps may seem a lot at first, as you do more research evaluating information sources will become easier.