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Evaluating Websites: CRAP Test and Domain Names

This is a quick introduction to evaluating internet sources.

CRAP Test, Expanded

Currency

  • When was the item written, and how frequently does the publication come out?
  • Is there evidence of newly added or updated information in the item?
  • If the information is dated, is it still suitable for your topic?
  • How frequently does information change about your topic?

Relevance

  • Does the item contain information relevant to your argument or thesis?
  • Read the item's introduction, thesis, and conclusion.
  • Scan main headings and identify keywords.
  • How wide a scope does the item have? Will you use part or all of this resource?
  • Does the information presented support or refute your ideas? 
  • If the information refutes your ideas, how will this change your argument?
  • What is the material's intended audience?

Authority

  • What are the author's credentials?
  • What is the author's level of education, experience, and/or occupation?
  • What qualifies the author to write about this topic?
  • What affiliations does the author have? Could these affiliations affect their position?
  • What organization or body published the information? Is it authoritative? Does it have explicit position or bias?

Accuracy

  • Is the source well-documented? Does it include footnotes, citations, or a bibliography?
  • Is information in the source presented as fact, opinion, or propaganda? Are biases clear?
  • Can you verify information from referenced information in the source?
  • Is the information written clearly and free of typographical and grammatical mistakes? Does the source look to be edited before publication? (A clean, well-presented paper does not always indicate accuracy, but usually at least means more eyes have been on the information.)

Purpose

  • Is the author's purpose to inform, sell, persuade, or entertain?
  • Does the source have an obvious bias or prejudice?
  • Is the article presented from multiple points of view?
  • Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprove their argument?
  • Is the author's language informal, joking, emotional, or impassioned?
  • Is the information clearly supported by evidence?

Website Domain Names

Jessie Ball duPont Library, University of the South
178 Georgia Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37383
931.598.1664