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Prof. Mathews Eng.101 Annotated Bibliography: Questions to Ask While You Work

CRAAP - Criteria for Evaluating Your Sources: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

CURRENCY of a Source

Your Criteria:

Does my topic require current information? 

Questions about this Source  

  1. When was it published or posted?
  2. Has new information invalidated this source?
  3. Has the source been revised or updated?
  4. How up-to-date are the links? Are there dead links?
  5. Have attitudes on this subject changed?

AUTHORITY of a Source

Your Criteria:

Who is behind this source? What makes them or their organization an appropriate expert on this topic?

Questions about this Source  

  1. Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  2. What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  3. Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  4. Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address? 
  5. Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net 

PURPOSE of a Source

Your Criteria:

Why does this information exist?

Questions about this Source  

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

Works Cited in Creating This Research Guide

The following works were consulted in the creation of this research guide:


Ashford University. "Synthesis Matrix." Ashford University Writing Center, 2017, Accessed 22 Oct. 2019.


Ashford University. "Synthesis." Ashford University Writing Center, 2017, Accessed 22 Oct. 2019.

Engle, Michael. "The Annotated Bibliography." Cornell University Library LibGuides. Cornell University, 10 Sept. 2015, Accessed 3 Oct. 2015. 


Fraenza, Christy. "Synthesis." Ashford University Writing Center, 2015, Accessed 3 Oct. 2017. 


Mak, Collette /updated and maintained by Leslie L. Morgan, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame.

RELEVANCE of a Source

Your Criteria:

Is this source the best source to make my argument?

Questions About this Source:

  1. Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  2. Who is the intended audience?
  3. Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e., not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  4. Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  5. Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

ACCURACY of a Source

Your Criteria:

Is this information vetted, and how scholarly is it? Can it be verified?

Questions about this Source  

  1. Where does the information come from?
  2. Does evidence support the information?
  3. Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  4. Can you verify any information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  5. Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  6. Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

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