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How to critically evaluate sources

Learning Intention:  I can use the CRAAP test to evaluate sources.

   I can find corroborating evidence for information

Be Skeptical

Approach every source with healthy skepticism. Use the CRAAP test to check a source's validity. For example that quote up there isn't Albert Einstein's. Einstein died in 1955, 35 years before the internet was born.

The CRAAP Test

  • Is the source CURRENT?
  • Why?
    • Sometimes new facts are uncovered
    • Sometimes our understanding changes
  • How?
    • Check the date
  • Is the source RELEVANT?
  • Why?
    • If it's not about what you want, why are you using it?
  • How?
    • Check it has information you need or want
  • Who is the source's AUTHOR
  • Why?
    • Not all authors are equal
    • E.g. Random person online vs. someone who studies the topic
    • E.g. Someone who studies another topic vs. someone who studies the topic
  • How?
    • Can you find the author?
    • Do they have credentials?
    • Are the credentials in the field they are talking about?
    • Do they work for someone who would benefit from their position? E.g. They are anti-climate change and also work for the oil industry.
  • Is the source ACCURATE?
  • Why?
    • Sometimes people lie on the internet. LE SHOCK!!!
    • Sometimes information is out of date
  • How?
    • Check that another reputable source is saying the same information and is not getting it from the source you looked at originally.
    • This is called corroboration
  • What is the source's PURPOSE?
  • Why?
    • People write for different reasons.
    • These reasons are easy as P.I.E. to remember
    • Persuade, Inform, Entertain (P.I.E.)
    • A source could be more than one of these
  • How?
    • Is the source's message biased?
    • Is the source's message trying to stir your emotions?