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The C.R.A.P Test for Humanities

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Ken Orenic

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of The C.R.A.P Test for Humanities

The C.R.A.P Test is an acronym for the four questions to ask in determining if your sources are credible
and appropriate for your assignment
What is the C.R.A.P Test?
C. Currency
How recently was the information published?
Does the understanding of a topic, any topic, change over time?
What kind of supporting information is included in the resource? Research? Statistics? Opinions?
Monday, September 14, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
"If it's published on the web, it has to be true." - Cicero*

The C.R.A.P Test - Your path to evaluating information
Information can come from many different sources, including the TV, newspapers, magazines, the web and library databases.
The C.R.A.P News Gazette
But how do you determine if your sources are
appropriate for your project? Are your sources current enough for your project? Are they credible? Authoritative?
One way to evaluate sources is by applying the C.R.A.P Test.
Purpose / Point of view
Where "Information" and Reality Collide!
Purpose/ Point of View
Why was the source created? What is the author's point of view?
*I made this up.
Absolutely. For example, 18th Century historians studying ancient Rome gave little attention to the role women played in society.

This is no longer the case. You'll now find plenty of sources on how women fit into ancient Roman society.
For most topics related to this project, your resources should have been created in the last 10 years.

Image Source - Wikimedia.org
Image Source - Wikimedia.org
More on the Crap Test as we meet during the balance of the semester
If a website, when was the site last updated?
Is the information current enough for your topic?
Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
What is the bias?
What motivations does the author or publisher have in publishing the information?
Is the information creator trying to sell you something or sway your opinion?
Is the information based on fact or opinion?
So, if my source doesn't answer the CRAP Test perfectly, does this mean it's a "bad" source?

Do not think of the CRAP Test as being a magical list of things to check off.
Instead, think of it as a means to think critically about the sources that you're considering using. All sources have strengths and weaknesses, depending on how they will be used. It's up to you to critically evaluate your sources for appropriateness.
In a word,
Questions? Send me an email
Ken Orenic
What are the author’s credentials?
Is the author an expert in the field? A journalist who writes on many different topics?
Who is the publisher or sponsor of the publication / website?
Are they reputable? Why?
Image source http://bit.ly/CRAPBSCOD
Full transcript