There is a lot of information available on the web, it's impossible to look at it all (and when you are doing research no one expects you to!) but it's important to evalute what information you find on the internet when it comes to any assignment. The easiest way to evaluate a potential source that you find on the web is by completing a C.R.A,P Test. C.R.A.P. Test is an aycronym for:
- Currency: The timeliness of the information
- Reliability: The accuracy and correctness of the information
- Authority: The source of the information
- Purpose: The reason the information exists
When utiilizing the C.R.A.P Test to determine the usefulness of a source please keep the following guidelines in mind:
- How recent is the information?
- How recently has the website been updated?
- Is it current enough for your topic?
- What kind of information is included in the resource?
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
- Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
- Who is the creator or author?
- What are the credentials?
- Who is the published or sponsor?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is this fact or opinion?
- Is it biased?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
- What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
Faculty Note: The original C.R.A.A.P. Test was created and developed by Sarah Blakeslee, at California State University, Chico. I have modified the acronym so that it can be remembered more easily.