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Sociology

Print and electronic resources for the study in Sociology.

Why Use the CRAAP(S) Test?

Assessing the quality and content of your sources is crucial, especially when you are using those sources to conduct academic research. How do you know the websites you are using for your research are quality sites? How do you weed out incomplete, irrelevant, out-of-date, or false resources?

Enter the CRAAP Test. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Apply the CRAAP test to your sources. By scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = worst, 10=best possible) you can give each source a grade on a 50 point scale for how high-quality it is!

45 - 50 Excellent | 40 - 44 Good | 35 - 39 Average | 30 - 34 Borderline Acceptable | Below 30 - Unacceptable

Applying the CRAAP(S) Test

Ask yourself the following questions about each website you're considering:

Currency

  • 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 all of the links functional?

Reliability

  • What kind of information is included in the website?
  • Based on other research, is this information accurate and complete?
  • Is the content fact-based or opinion-based?
  • Is the information balanced or biased?
  • Does the author provide references for quotations and data?

Authority

  • Can you determine who the author/creator/source is?
  • Is there a way to contact them?
  • What are their credentials (education, affiliation, experience, etc.)?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor of the site?
  • Is this publisher/sponsor reputable?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (i.e. .com, .edu, .gov, .org, or .net)?

Accuracy

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose / Point of View

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • What is the domain (.edu, .org, .com, etc.)? How might that influence the purpose/point of view?
  • Are there ads on the website? How do they relate to the topic being covered (e.g., an ad for ammunition next to an article about firearms legislation)?
  • Is the author presenting fact, or opinion?
  • Who might benefit from a reader believing this website?
  • Based on the writing style, who is the intended audience?

(Skew)

  • Is the topic controversial?
  • Do you have strong feelings about this topic?
  • Do you either strongly agree or strongly disagree with the conclusions?
  • Is your personal opinion coloring your interpretation of the content?

 

*Based on the original CRAP Test created by Librarian Molly Beestrum, Dominican University..