Library Research Guide
The Big 5 Criteria can help you evaluate your sources for credibility:
Another way to evaluate your sources is the CRAAP Test, which means evaluating the following qualities of your sources:
This video (2:17) from Western Libraries explains the CRAAP Test.
Evaluating websites follows the same process as for other sources, but finding the information you need to make an assessment can be more challenging with websites. The following guidelines can help you decide if a website is a good choice for a source for your paper.
News outlets, think tanks, organizations, and individual authors can present information from a particular political perspective. Consider this fact to help determine whether sources are useful for your paper.
Check a news outlet's website, usually under About Us or Contact Us, for information about their reporters and authors. For example, USA Today has the USA Today Reporter Index, and the LA Times has an Editorial & Newsroom Contacts. Reading a profile or bio for a reporter or looking at other articles by the author may tell you whether that person favors a particular viewpoint.
If a particular organization is mentioned in an article, learn more about the organization to identify potential biases. Think tanks and other associations usually exist for a reason. Searching news articles about the organization can help you determine their political leaning.
Bias is not always bad, but you must be aware of it. Knowing the perspective of a source helps contextualize the information presented.