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Evaluate Your Sources

Don't be caught using unreliable information. Learn to use the CRAAP Test to identify credible sources

Purpose Refers to Why this Information Was Created


Some Questions to Ask:  Where to Look for Answers:
  • Is the author trying to sell you something?
  • Is the author trying to persuade you to adopt a particular point of view?
  • Is the language used inflammatory?
  • Who sponsored the study, research, or site?
  • Why was this information created?
  • Links on a Web site that say:
    • About or About Us
    • Mission Statement
    • What we do
    • Who we are
  • Language used on the site
  • Links out to other sites
  • Use Lateral Reading to find information about the source and/or author from other sources.


What Is the Purpose?

The Heritage Foundation describes its purpose in the About section of their Web site. Not all organizations are as forthcoming about their perspective and biases.

If you cannot find an About Us page or similar information about the person or organization responsible for the content of the site, then the source is not appropriate for your research project.

The Language Used Gives Clues About Their Purpose

You should also evaluate the type of language that any potential source uses. Even though this article is current and looks like a news article, the incendiary language reveals its real purpose of subtly persuading you to accept their point of view or bias.


Lateral Reading: What Are Others Saying About the Cite?

Lateral reading is a powerful strategy that fact checkers use to evaluate information online. In addition to reading your web document, you jump out onto the web to see what others are saying about the site and its authors. Watch the video below for an introduction to lateral reading so that you can recognize false or misleading information.