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Italian Studies

Guide to Resources in Italian Literature and History

Evaluating Sources

Thompson Writing Center at Duke 

  • Evaluating Sources of Information (Purdue): All sources aren't created equal. Purdue's Online Writing Lab offers these valuable tips for evaluating the sources and informational content you encounter.
  • Evaluating Print vs. Internet Sources (Purdue): Just because it's online doesn't mean it's good. Purdue's Online Writing Lab helps you sort the wheat from the chaff. 
  • You may also like this guide to Fake news from the Toronto Public Library


Take the CRAAP test: score each category on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = worst, 10=best possible) 

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content, and

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
(This  test was first created by Molly Beestrum and ‚ÄčKenneth Orenic at Dominican University as "CRAP," a team of librarians  at  Meriam Library, CSU then developed the test into CRAAP The original worksheet is linked here Evaluating Information -- Applying the CRAAP Test;)

Peer Review