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Voting and Election Guide

Guide to the U.S. electoral system with a focus on upcoming elections and how to register and vote.

Evaluating Sources: The CRAAP Test

The critical evaluation of information is a basic skill you need to develop to conduct quality research. Critical evaluation combines common sense, knowledge, skepticism, and verification. Remember, not all of the information you find will be suitable, and using inaccurate or inappropriate information will weaken your research results.

With so much information available, in so many formats, and from so many sources, it is essential that you carefully review and evaluate each piece of information you select to ensure its quality, authority, perspective, and balance. As you can imagine, this process can be overwhelming. So, what exactly should you look for?

One very helpful strategy is the CRAAP Test. CRAAP is the abbreviation for:

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

View the video below for an explanation of how you can apply the CRAAP Test to evaluate information sources.

Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources

As you conduct your research you will encounter three types of sources: primary, secondary, and tertiary. This brief clip will help you understand the differences among these three types.