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SOCY 476: Surveillance Between Power and Resistance

Evaluating Sources

The CRAAP Test will help you determine if the sources you found are reliable. These are questions you can consider as you evaluate any piece of information you find:

Currency

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • If it's a web-based source, are the links functional?

Relevance

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced?)
  • Have you examined a variety of sources before determining to use this one?
  • Does the information/source meet your assignment requirements?

Authority

  • Who is the author/creator/publisher/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations provided? What are they?
  • What the author's qualifications or credentials in writing about this subject?
  • Does the information provide references or sources of data? 
  • If it's a web-based source, does the URL reveal anything about the source? Examples include .com .edu .gov

Accuracy

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Is the content primarily opinion? Or is it balanced with multiple points of view?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

The CRAAP Test was developed by librarian at California State University, Chico. Content for this guide also based on CRAAP Detection: Criteria for Evaluation Information, created by OTIS College of Art and Design Library.

Citing Sources

Knowing how to cite another person's work properly helps you to:

  • give credit and acknowledge their ideas
  • avoid plagiarism
  • direct readers to the sources on which your research is based

For more information about how to cite sources in a specific citation style, consult the Library's Guide to Citing Sources

ASA style (created by the American Sociological Association) is a widely accepted citation style used for writing university-level research papers in the discipline of sociology. The Department of Sociology has created their own guide, based on ASA style, which is available on the Department's website: http://www.queensu.ca/sociology/about-us/style-and-reference-guide