When finding and reading sources, it's important to figure out whether or not they're trustworthy and reliable.
One way to do this is the CRAAP Test where you try to answer the following questions:
|Great (2)||Maybe (1)||Nope! (0)|
|Is the information current enough for the topic?||I can find out when this information was written. It was written less than 25 years ago (or less than 10 if I'm working on a science project)||I can find out when this information was written, it might be out of date for my topic.||I cannot find the date when this was written.|
|Is the information relevant to what I want to learn about?||Yes, this information helps to answer one or more research questions that I had.||This information is kind of about my topic, but it broad or about another aspect of my topic||This is about something completely different!|
|Who wrote this? Who published it?||The author is named and they are an expert in the field where they're writing and/or the publisher is an academic publisher||The author is named but they are a journalist/author/other. This information has been reviewed but it is not published by an academic publisher.||The author is not named. Anyone could have written/published it!|
|Is this information accurate?||Most likely. The author uses citations, the material has been reviewed and the information can be verified by other sources. If this is original research, processes and methods have been documented.||N/A||This information has no citations, has probably not been reviewed, and maybe even has spelling errors.|
|Why was this information written?||This information was written to share new knowledge with other experts and other interested people.||This information was written to educate the general public.||This information was written to sell something or convince you of the author's personal view|
Using these questions as our guide, let's take a look at some of the sources below:
What resource would you use and why?