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Research Toolkit: The CRAAP Test + Lateral Reading

What is the CRAAP Test?

The CRAAP test provides basic questions to help you think about the quality of your source.

Is it Current?

When was it published? Are their references current? Is being current important for your topic?

Is it Relevant?

Does the info relate to my topic? What audience is it written for? Is it at an appropriate level for my needs?

Is it Authoritative?

Who is the author/organization? Are they qualified? Is it edited or peer-reviewed

Is it Accurate?

Where does the information come from? Are there references? Are there errors, broken links etc.?

What is its Purpose?

What's the purpose of the information? Advertising? Scholarly work? Opinion? Is there bias? Who is the intended audience?


Adapted from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico California

In addition to using the CRAAP test, practice becoming a Lateral Reader: verify what you're reading as you are reading it. 

Leave the site and open up new tabs to judge the credibility of the original site.

  • search for the site/article on fact-checking sites
  • search for the owner or publisher of the site
  • follow references back to the original sources
  • research what other sites say about the source

John Green explains