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PCA Academic Writing

Types of sources

CRAAP Test

Not all websites were created equal.  When determining how or if you should use a specific website in your work, run it through the CRAAP test.  Does the site pass the test, or is it a bunch of...?

  • Currency
    • How recent is the information? Can you find a publication date?
    • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Relevance
    • How does the information included relate to your topic?
    • Was the information written for a general or a scholarly audience?
  • Authority
    • Who is the creator or author? It might be an individual, an organization, or both.
    • What are the author's credentials? I.e., what makes the author qualified to discuss this topic?
    • Who is the publisher? What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
    • What is the site's domain?
    Accuracy
    • Where does the information come from? Are there citations or references to back up claims?
    • Has the information been peer-reviewed?
    • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
    • Are there grammar, spelling, or other errors on the page?
  • Purpose/Point of View
    • Is this fact or opinion?
    • Is it biased?
    • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Credit: The CRAAP test was developed by the Meriam Library, California State University, Chico

Evaluating any source