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ENG 1020 - Coughlan: Searching the Web

Search Tips

Use quotations around phrases
"fitness consultant"

Use (  ) with OR
(chicken OR poultry)

Limit by domain
site:.edu

Limit file type
file:pdf

 

C.R.A.A.P Test

Currency
The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance
The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this isone you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority
The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author'scredentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, suchas a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples:.com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy
The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose
The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

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Mary Thompson
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