This is a guide to the mass communications resources available through the East Central College Library. The menu Tabs provide links to resources to assist with your information needs. Please contact the library if you need extra help in your search or ha
Information about almost any subject is easy to find; however, not all information is good information. An essential part of academic research and writing is learning how to critically analyze and evaluate sources to eliminate old, incorrect, or irrelevant information. The CRAAP Test (current, relevant, accurate, authority, purpose) is a guide for analyzing your research sources, including websites, articles and books. Here is a link to an accessible PDF of this information.
By scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best possible), you can give each site a grade on a 50 point scale.
Current: The timeliness of the information
When was the information published or posted?
When was it revised or updated?
Do you require current information, or will older sources work?
Are the links functional?
Relevant: 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 college level?
Are you confident in the source to cite in your paper?
Authority: The source of the information.
Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
Is the author qualified on this topic, what are their credentials?
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
Accurate: 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 information in another source?
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 make their 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?
This information has been adapted from "Evaluating Information-Applying the CRAAP Test" by the staff at Meriam Library, California State University-Chico. The source material can be accessed here.
"Evaluating Information-Applying the CRAAP Test." 17 Sept. 2010. Meriam Lib., California State University-Chico. CSU-Chico ReSEARCH Station. Web. 2 July 2013.
The National Scholastic Press Association, based and incorporated in Minnesota as a non-profit educational association, provides journalism education services to students, teachers, media advisers and others throughout the United States and in other countries.
For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.
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