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COE 208 | The Literature of Baseball

Professor Wendt.

Why Evaluate?

Evaluating information is an important part of the research process, since not all information will be appropriate for your paper.

You, the researcher, will need to determine whether the information suits your needs:  

  • Is it current enough?  
  • Has it been written by an authority within the field?  
  • Was it published within a credible source?  
  • Is the information relevant to your topic?  
  • Is the information accurate, that is, is there evidence to support the claim?  

Image source: Sietske from nl.  Wikimedia Commons.  CC BY-SA 3.0.


To ensure you are including only valid information in your research, evaluate your sources using the criteria below.  

The C.R.A.A.P. Test


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?


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 is the one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?


The source of the information

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


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 referreed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the information seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?


The reason the information exists

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

Source:  The C.R.A.A.P Test was created by Librarians at California State University, Chico.  It is posted here with their kind permission.