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FYS 207: Social Media and Musical Identity through the Numbers: Home

Resources to support Dr. Reddan's First Year Seminar course

Selected sources of information

Evaluating a source

We have so much information washing over us these days--finding is not particularly a challenge. But how do you determine if it's good information or crap?

You can use the CRAAP test to evaluate the information. It's a flexible tool--depending on your specific situation or need, the five criteria will be more or less important.

Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • 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 the one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • 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 unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors / sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

How to read a scholarly article

Do you know how to read a scholarly article? Hint: don’t just start at the beginning and read straight through! Use this method to make sure you are getting the most from this commonly-assigned type of reading.

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APA Citation Help

How to write an article summary

Summarizing is one step in analyzing your sources.

Public Services Librarian, Associate Professor

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Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon
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