HIST 2120: US Since 1877

Evaluating Sources

Why Evaluate?

Evaluating sources of information is a crucial step in the research process. The world is full of information to be found—however, not all of it is valid, useful, or accurate.

  • When trying to decide to use a source, consider its authoritativeness and perspective.

  • Is it a useful, reliable resource for your specific research need? Why?

  • While writing your paper, consider how you can use sources to back up your claims.

For more information on evaluating sources, visit the sites below:

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources - CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test -- When searching for information on the Web you’re going to find lots of it … but is it accurate and reliable? Whether reading a book or a website, be an information skeptic--scrutinize, analyze, and evaluate your sources.


• 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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?


• How well does this suit your topic or answer your questions?
• Who is the intended audience?
• Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?


• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
• Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given?
• What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
• Is there a way to contact the author?


• Where does the information come from?
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information?
• Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?


• Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
• Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?