CRAAP stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose
Use these assessment tools to evaluate what you're reading. Still confused about what news is trustworthy and what is fake? Read through our Fake News guide.
- The timeliness of the information:
- When was the information published or posted?
- Does the year published matter to your topic? Do you need the most up to date information or does that not matter?
- When was the information last revised or updated?
- Are the links on a website functional or are they broken?
- The importance of the information as related to your topic:
- Is the information central to your argument or does it only briefly touch upon it?
- Who is the intended audience and is it at the appropriate level for you? Is it for the general public, grade school students, or scholars?
- Can you find better information elsewhere? Don't settle for the first articles that come up in a search. Maybe there is a book that covers your topic more thoroughly?
- Who is the author?
- Are you able to find the author or editor easily? If there is no author, can you tell who is the organization publishing the information?
- Can you find the author's credentials? Are they a journalist, a university professor, a professional? Do an internet search to find out.
- Is readily available contact information provided (email, phone number, address)?
- Is the source reliable? Is it from a blog, a .gov site (government publication) or a .org site? Is it from a peer-reviewed academic journal or from a magazine?
- The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content:
- Where does the information presented come from? Are the sources listed?
- Are the sources reputable? Does the author support their argument using clear evidence?
- Can you verify the information in other sources or from your own knowledge?
- Does the language or tone seem free of bias and emotion? Is the argument ideologically based or is it objective?
- The reason the information exists:
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform? To teach? To sway your opinion? To sell a product or to entertain?
- Can you determine a possible bias, influence, or prejudice? This may be harder to determine - keep in mind the author and who is publishing the book or article. Is the institution or author affiliated with a religious or cultural organization?
- Does the author make their intentions clear from the beginning? Do you detect propaganda or does the author make you aware that they are giving their opinion?
- Is the language neutral? Does the author consider all sides of an argument?