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Writing 10 (Ayik) - Spring 2024


You can use the CRAAP (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose) as a quick way to check a source but note that evaluation shouldn't just meet a checklist. It also matters how you intend to use a source.

  • C(urrency): When was the information published or posted?
  • R(elevance): Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • A(uthority): Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • A(ccuracy): Where does the information come from?
  • P(urpose): What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?

Adapted from Meriam Library, CSU Chico, "Evaluating Sources--Applying the CRAAP Test."

Resources for Evaluating News Sources

Evaluating Sources for Credibility (Video Tutorial)

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries, 3:14


  1. What words can be used to describe a credible source?
  2. What factors contribute to a source's credibility? 
  3. What warning is given about bias? 
  4. What is the editorial process called for academic journal articles? 
  5. When selecting sources, what else must you consider beyond credibility?

Questions to Ask

If you are not sure about the accuracy of information you find online, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where was the information published?
  • Does the source of the information tend to have a particular bias?
  • Does the information appear in other credible sources? (For example, if you find information in one source but can't find any other sources that back it up, the information may be questionable. For breaking news stories, usually one source will report and then others will pick it up.)
  • Is the information presented in a way that elicits a strong emotional reaction? (This doesn't necessarily mean it's bad information, but take with a grain of salt.)
  • For photos, can you find where the photo first appeared? It is easy to fake photos, or to present them out of their original context.