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ANTHR 130 - Kerr

Use this guide to find reliable information for your research in Susan Kerr's class

What is a Credible Source?

Learn to evaluate your sources with this tutorial entitled "Credible Sources Count" from Vaughan Memorial Library. It only takes about 10 minutes and is fun to work through.


Credible Sources Count Tutorial


Popular, Substantive, and Scholarly Sources

Unless otherwise instructed by your teacher, you'll probably want to use a variety sources to help you gain a complete understanding of your topic. Sources of information generally fall within three categories.These categories are  Popular, Substantive, and Scholarly (or Peer Reviewed). To use them skillfully you need to be able to identify them and understand their differences.

Picture of popular sources

Popular material:

  • Is created by journalists, staff writers or freelance writers, and, sometimes, by enthusiasts.
  • This type of information is aimed at the general public.
  • It usually provides a broad overview of topics a general readership will find entertaining.
  • If you use popular material for academic work you'll need to be sure to supplement it with articles from scholarly and substantive sources.
Picture of substantive sources

Substantive material:

  • Is produced by scholars or credentialed journalists and is geared toward an educated audience.
  • It provides credible information of relevance to an educated and concerned public.
  • Substantive information is a great choice for community college students, because it is both credible and accessible.
Picture of scholarly sources

Scholarly material:

  • Is produced by scholars/experts whose credentials can be evaluated.
  • Aimed at other scholars, it disseminates specialized and discipline-specific information, often reporting on original research and experimentation.
  • Scholarly information is a great choice for college students, though it can be challenging to read because of its scholarly language.
  • Scholarly sources are often called academic or peer-reviewed.


Watch the brief video below for more information:


CRAAP Test: Credibility is Crucial!

As you begin to explore your topic, you need to be sure that you are using the best possible sources of information. You will likely find a variety of sources during your research: books, articles, Web documents, interviews, DVDs, and more.  For each and every source you use you want to make sure it passed the CRAAP test

Currency - Is the content presented current enough for your project? For your specific research question?

Relevancy - Does it answer your research question?

Authority - Does the author have relevant expertise on the topic about which she is writing?

Accuracy - Is the information provided correct?

Purpose - Is the information biased? Is the author trying to persuade you to believe a certain way?

Watch the brief video below to learn more about the CRAAP Test: