It is important to critically examine potential sources for relevancy and reliability. Below is a tool to help you evaluate information (books, articles, websites) in order to determine its' credibility before using it in an academic paper.
When looking at different sources, there are 5 different aspects you should consider to determine if the source is appropriate for academic use. For this class, we will use the CRAAP test.
(The CRAAP test comes from California State University, Chico. The original worksheet can be found here:http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf)
Currency: the timeliness of information
Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs
Authority: the source of the information
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
Purpose: the reason the information exists
Each category can be scored on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the worst and 10 the best) to get a score out of 50. That score can give you an idea of whether or not you should use the website.
50-45: Excellent - Use to your heart's content
44-40: Good - It's pretty good, but could be better in some areas.
39-35: Average - Still useable but be critical of the information being presented.
34-30: Borderline Acceptable - Use if you have to, but look for other stronger sources to fill in the gaps.
Below 30: Unacceptable - Avoid!