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College Writing Seminar: Evaluating Sources

Questions to Ask

When looking for sources to use in assignments please consider the following.

  • How current is the information?
    • When was this information published (or posted)?
    • Have there been any revisions or updates?
    • If there are links, are they functional?
  • Does this information relate to your research needs?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • Does the information relate to your topic or answer one of your research questions?
    • Have you looked at an assortment of sources before choosing this one?
  • Can you trust this information?
    • Who is the author / publisher / sponsor... ?
    • Can you find additional information about the above person or organization?
  • Is it possible to verify the content?
    • Is the information sufficiently cited to trace back?
    • Has this source been reviewed or refereed?
    • Are there general spelling or typographic errors?
  • Why does this source exist?
    • Is the information factual or propaganda?
    • Is the authors viewpoint objective or impartial?


If you want to try a numeric test use the CRAAP Test Worksheet.