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COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)

COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)

Choosing Websites on the Open Web - Using the CRAAP+ Test for Evaluation

CRAAP Test For Evaluating Websites

More Thoughts on Evaluating Websites


Here are some other more indepth things to think about as you critically evaluate your information sources.  


+Plus: How is the information impacted by the dominant culture? 

  • Who benefits from the story that is being told?
  • Whose voices, concerns, and experiences are included? Whose are excluded?
  • What assumptions are made? What unexamined beliefs does the author appear to have? What is the author unconscious/unaware of? 
  • What power dynamics are at work?

Original CRAAP Test created by Chico State Librarians. Plus questions inspired by the work of Angela Pashia.

Going a Step Beyond CRAAP

The CRAAP Test is a great way to do some basic evaluation of a source. But often when you're evaluating a webpage, CRAAP is not enough because you can't find all the information you need on the page itself - you need to leave the page and do some additional research about the organization, the author, or the claims being made. 

Mike Caulfield's free ebook Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers suggest four ways to fact-check sources that go beyond the CRAAP test: 

  1. Check for previous work When researching a claim, see if a reputable fact-checking organization like or Snopes has already de-bunked it
  2. Go upstream to find the source Does the article you're reading refer to a study, aPew research survey, an expert opinion, or some other outside source? Hop onto the library's OneSearch database or Google and see if you can find that original source!
  3. Read laterally See what others are writing and saying about the author, the organization, and/or the claim being made. 
  4. Circle back Stuck? Go back to the webpage you're trying to evaluate, take stock of what you know so far, and try a different approach. 

Think hard about what you find on the open web (what you track down through Google). Who wrote it? Why? Is the website up to date? Does the information measure up to what you are finding in books and articles? Use the lists below for ideas on how to evaluate this information for college research.

How Wikipedia Works

This video describes how Wikipedia works as an information resource. It offers advice on how college students can use Wikipedia, as well as why they will want to dig deeper.