At all times, you need to make sure you are finding good quality sources
The CRAAP test is a useful checklist for evaluating sources using the following criteria:
Each criteria has a number of related questions - you can see these by clicking on the different tabs above. Use these as a guide to help you evaluate your sources.
This video gives a short introduction to using the CRAAP test to evaluate sources.
New or old?
For some subjects, the most recent, up to date information is essential. In others, historical information may be important too. Check your subject outline or with your lecturer to see how recent your assignment sources need to be.
Is the information what you really need?
Who wrote it?
Is the information reliable and correct?
Why does this information exist?
Are you using the right sources for the job?
It is important to use scholarly sources for your assignments. This means sources that have been written and reviewed by experts in the subject you are learning about.
Using scholarly sources isn’t a completely failsafe way of ensuring accuracy and reliability. However, given the steps that must be followed to publish scholarly sources they are less likely to have mistakes or be particularly biased to a certain point of view. In other words, scholarly sources should be more accurate and balanced.
Ultimately it is up to you to think critically about the information you find and to decide on the appropriateness and relevance of each source.
Bias is when an author – individual or organisation - may have a specific point of view or agenda to convey and does not present a balanced viewpoint or neutral perspective.
It could be argued that it is impossible to be totally value-neutral (unbiased). As such, it is important to be able to recognise bias and perspective.
You may need to look for sources with differing bias to get an overall balanced picture rather than just relying on one particular source of information.
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