Evaluating and Citing your Sources
|When you search for information, you might find plenty… but is it accurate and reliable? You will have to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help determine if the information you find is good quality. Your information source may not meet every criterion on this list; different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. So why guess? Is your source giving you truly credible and useful information, or just a lot of…?!
|Currency: The timeliness of the information.
|Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
|Authority: The source of the information.
|Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.
|Purpose: The reason the information exists.
|*criteria specifically for evaluating Web site information***adapted from: Evaluating information – Applying the CRAAP test, 10/24/2007. Reference & Instruction, Meriam Library ReSEARCH Station, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, CA. 17 Mar 2008. <http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/evalsites.html> Prepared for University Library lobby display, Evaluating information from the World Wide Web, March 2008. ***|
Citing your sources:
As you compile your sources, make sure you have full bibliographic information on each one . This includes:
1) Book: Author(s), Title, Place of publication, Publisher, copyright date, and pages for your quotes
2) Journal: Author(s), Article title, Journal title, Volume, Issue, Date, Year and Pages
There are several style manuals that you can use, but you will need to consult your professor and to the appropriate one for your discipline. The library has the most used ones at the Reference Desk (APA Handbook, MLA Handbook, Turabian Manual for Writers, Chicago Manual of Style, and the ACS Style Guide).
There are several university websites that have online examples of how to cite your sources. Below are a few good ones:
One thing to note is that when you are doing research in the library’s online databases, there may be a link on “how to cite your article”. This will give you an example for a specific style manual, BUT you should always verify the source in your style manual, as sometimes the example is wrong.