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Assignment | Social Impact Annotated Bibliography (Pentecost): Credible Internet Sources

ENGL 1301 | Prof. R. Pentecost (Fall 2021)

Evaluating Information

The CRAAP Test

Evaluate your source's...


CRAAP test factors: Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, Purpose

Also, The Three Rs

Is your source
Recent? Reliable? Relevant?

Is this source up-to-date? Is it about my topic, and does it go into enough depth? Does it come from an authoritative source? Is the information accurate (and are there citations given to back it up)? And why was this information written in the first place?

.edu, .gov, and .org: Shortcut or Dead End?

Better-Than-Average Domans

While these domains tend to be a bit more reliable than regular .com/net/whatever domains, there are still pitfalls you can encounter. You should always be on the lookout when selecting your sources, and keep in mind evaluation criteria like the CRAAP test to guide you through taking a closer look.

In order of reliability:

Government. Highly restricted. Only US government entities can register this domain, and the government sponsors a lot of research that creates public data, in addition to, of course, public policy and governance documents.


Higher Education (mostly). Pretty restricted. Mostly university websites, but this limitation is relatively recent, and there are some .edu sites out there that were grandfathered in.

Caution! Watch out for student work that's publicly posted. Undergrad projects are not a recommended source.


Organizations. Limited to organizations... but organizations cover a wide spectrum of possibility. Many have a specific point of view or advocacy cause, which is not quite the same as having a bias, though they may have a bias, too.

Caution! It doesn't take much for someone to create an organization and register this domain. You really have to scrutinize who the org is.

You can steer your results towards better sources by telling Google to only give you .edu or .org or .gov sites. Example below:

Google Web Search
Not recommended: Mental Floss, Thoughtco, Medium... any website that's a glorified blog, or any article that's a listicle.