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CRAAP Test elements

Critical analysis — the CRAAP Test is used to evaluate and justify the quality of articles and web pages you have selected to support your position.

   The following CRAAP criteria must be addressed for each item you use as a reference in your bibliography:

  • Currency -- is the material recent enough to consider the latest aspects and findings on your topic?
  • Relevance -- does the material speak exactly to the topics you address in your position?
  • Authority -- how can you determine the credentials of the author and/or organization that created the material?
  • Accuracy -- how can you determine if the selected material appears to be supported by multiple sources with reliable and/or reproducable information?
  • Purpose -- can you determine if this material provides a well-rounded perspective on the topic, or is intended to support a position through showing only some of the information that would be important to study the topic in a balanced way?

 

    See our short video: Critical Thinking: The CRAAP Test

    One excellent example of critical analysis is provided by FactCheck.ORG - which reviews public statements by politicians.

Starting a search on the WWW

CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SEARCHING THE OPEN INTERNET

WARNING: Searching the Internet will provide many unique pieces of  information, but the results can be false, skewed, and inaccurate.

USE CRITICAL THINKING WHEN USING INTERNET SOURCES.

You must be able to justify the web material you have selected to support your position.

The CRAAP criteria above will help you evaluate the reliability and accuracy of each item you use as a reference in your bibliography:

 


EXAMPLE SCENARIOS TO DEMONSTRATE FREE WEB SEARCHING CONCERNS IN RELATION TO OUR PAID RESOURCES

 

SEARCHING FOR FACTS:

You should never trust the results that are returned from a general Google search, as many pages are created by people with little expertise and/or a hidden agenda. Wikipedia provides excellent overviews of topics, with pointers to source materials, but the perspective is not always academically accurate or balanced. Be sure to supplement this information with more reliable information from peer-reviewed resources such as those listed on our Facts/Definitions page.

 

SEARCHING FOR JOURNAL ARTICLES (research results and expert opinions):

While you can perform advanced Google searches, your results are based upon your previous search preferences, so results will be less comprehensive over time, and will tend to support your favorite topics/perspectives/purchasing behavior. In addition, you will not always be allowed to access all the full-text articles that are available to you through our multidisciplinary Academic Search Complete journal-article aggregator.

Google Scholar provides free searching of  a selection of the academic journal literature, with results providing more reliable peer-reviewed materials, but the results are not as comprehensive as those found in our subject specific journal indexes. In addition, you will not always be allowed to access all the full-text articles that are available to you through our multidisciplinary Academic Search Complete journal-article aggregator.

See a few images of the comparative domains of these search tools or a presentation about the limits of Google and the alternative search options.

 

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