The CRAP Test
- How recent is the information?
- Can you locate a date for when the resource was written/created/updated?
- Based on your topic, is it current enough?
- Why might the date matter for your topic?
- What kind of information is included in the resource?
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion?
- Is is balanced or biased?
- Is there a Bibliography? In other words, does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
- Can you determine who is the creator or author?
- What are the credentials (education, affiliation, expertise?)
- Is the publisher or sponsor reputable?
- Are they reputable?
- What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
Purpose/Point of View
- What's the intent of the article? (to persuade you, to sell you something?)
- For web resources, what is the domain? (.com .edu, .gov?) How might this influence the purpose or point of view?
- For web resources, are there ads on the webpage? How do they related to the topic of the web resource? (for example an ad for ammunition next to an article on firearm legislation or against gun control)
- Is the author presenting fact or opinion?
Adapted from Dominican University
Where to Start
Bookplate of Winward Prescott, via Pratt Institute Library's Flickr collection of book plates (click image to further explore)
To help you develop your research skills, we've put together a collection of resources that will come in particularly handy in Freshman English, including how to use the catalog to find a book, how to find journal articles, how to cite sources, and how to avoid plagiarism when writing a paper.
WorldCat is the searchable catalog of its member libraries, which include most of the libraries not just in the NYC area but in the U.S., plus many international library catalogs as well. WorldCat makes a good first place to start your research process because its keyword search is more flexible than that of Pratt, plus it will show you what is available at Pratt as the first results for your search term. For an example of this, click the image to enlarge.