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English 10: Is it CRAP? Utilizing and Evaluating Websites

Using the CRAP model to evaluate websites.

Determining whether or not to use a website is often a gray area.  This acronomyn will prompt you to ask questions about the information you find.  If you can't find the answers to many of these questions you probably shouldn't use the information for academic research.   

Currency

  • How recent is the information?
  • When was the website last updated?
  • Does your topic require it be more current?

    Tips - look for dates on the top and bottom of the page, if it is a newspaper article you may find the dates next to author's name. 

Reliability

  • Does it appear to be someone's opinion?
  • Does the author cite sources or provide links to references?
  • What kind of information is included on the site?

Authority

  • Who is the author? Is it a person or an organization? 
  • What are their credentials or mission if an organization?
  • Do they belong to related professional organizations?
  • Have they published books, written articles, been profiled as an expert?
  • Do they accept advertising on their website?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Fact or opinion?
  • Biased?
  • Is the author trying to sell you something?  Did the search engine direct you to that page so you would see the advertising?