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HIST 102 - History of the United States Since 1865 - Mo

This guide will help you with your research assignment for Eva Mo's History 102 course

Why Evaluate?

You need to ensure that you're using the highest quality sources of information for your academic work. As you gather information for your research project, you'll look at many different sources: books, articles from databases, Web documents, interviews, videos, and more.

You can feel pretty confident that books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's research databases are reliable and credible because you know those have gone through a traditional editorial process; someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made and then deemed them suitable for publishing. You still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and suitable for your project but you can feel confident that it is a credible, reliable source.

When you use sources from the Web there often is no editor. It is your job, then, to evaluate those Web sources to make sure they are reliable and useful. Remember, the first source that comes on from your search is not necessarily the best source to use for your research. It is up to you to be a knowledgeable consumer of information.

Choose the Right Source

By choosing the right source for your assignment you ensure that you are searching in the right place for relevant, reliable information that meets your instructor's expectations and fulfills your assignment requirements.

Some thoughts to consider are:

  • Does the source meet the requirements of my assignment?
  • Is the source appropriate for college-level work?
  • Is the author an expert?
  • Is the source relevant to my research focus?
  • Does the source give me enough information to help me understand my topic better?

Use the CRAAP Test for Credibility

Finding information today is easy; it's all around you. Making sure the information you find is reliable is your challenge.

When you use Google or any social media to get your information how do you know it can be trusted? How do you know it's not biased?

You can feel pretty confident that books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's databases are reliable because someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made before publishing them. You still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and suitable for your project but you can feel confident that it is a trustworthy source.

Make sure that each and every source you plan on using in your paper or research assignment passes the CRAAP test.

 

Evaluate your sources: The CRAAP Test

 

For more information on evaluating your sources, check out our CRAAP Test: Evaluate Your Sources guide.


Watch the brief video below to see how this works.