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Step by Step: Details of the Research Process

Evaluating Websites

Why Evaluate Web Sources?

  • Anyone with a little time, some knowledge and small amount of money can publish on the Internet.
  • No person, persons or organization reviews the content of the Internet.
  • Pages are retrieved by search engines based on the page's content, not the relevancy or quality of the page.
  • Much information on the Web is not updated regularly.

How to Evaluate Web Resources

The CRAP Test* is a useful guide to evaluating Web resources. CRAAP is an acronym for the general categories of criteria that can be used to evaluate information you find on the Web. The following table outlines the CRAAP criteria. For more information on evaluating websites look at this site from UC Berkely Teaching Library

Currency The timeliness of the information.
Relevance/Coverage The depth and importance of the information.
Authority The source of the information.
Accuracy  The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Purpose The possible bias present in the information.

*The CRAAP acronym and descriptions are from Meriam Library at California State University Chico. CRAAP Test from the Meriam Library website.

Videos Worth Watching

 Source: NC State University Libraries

Text Version of Research Flowchart

  1. Select Topic
    1. Do Background Reading
    2. Narrow/Broaden Search
    3. Create Thesis Statement
  2. Develop Search Strategy
    1. Create list of keywords
    2. List questions to be answered
    3. Write a draft outline
  3. Gather Materials
    1. Books
    2. Articles
    3. Web Sites
  4. Evaluate Resources
    1. Currency
    2. Reliabitliy
    3. Authority
    4. Accuracy
    5. Point of View
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 4:57 PM