Evaluating Sources

  How do you know if your sources are academically worthy?


Essay Reading & Writing Assignments

Sources for essays must be deemed academically credible.

Please avoid the following:

1. No encyclopedia - including Wikipedia
2. No dictionaries
3. No authorless websites - Websites like The American Red Cross or UC Santa Cruz are considered to be corporate authors and are thus acceptable. Newspaper editorials also do not list authors. Use corporate or institutional authors in the place of individual people and cite normally.
4. No quote web sites like Brainy Quotes or Great Quotes. For example:  "All people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage," David Duke.
5. No blogs without full names.
6. No About.com; howto.com; and other authorless websites.
7. No sources that are dateless.

When you cite a source, you have made the determination that it is academically credible. If it is not, your paper will be penalized.

See the CRAAP test.


Attributes of an excellent essay:

* Create an argument that is independent of any provided source.
* Evaluate your chosen sources. Do not just use them. (Criticize, Discuss, Praise)
* Write in a good, academic, confident tone. 





CRAAP - Bluford Library

CRAAP - Chico State - pdf

Do the CRAAP test for each of your sources.
Current Describe the timeliness of the information.
Relevance What is the depth and importance of the information?
Authority What is the source of the information?
Accuracy Is the information reliable?
Purpose/Objectivity Is there the possibility of bias in the information?

A Visual Guide to Evaluating Web Resources