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Resource Evaluation: Home

What is Resource Evaluation?

Finding information for your paper may seem easy--finding the RIGHT information for your paper can be difficult! Whether the information is online or in print, you will need to evaluate it to make sure it is the best information for you. Below are some short video tutorials on what resource evaluation for all types of information: books, articles, websites, films, etc. 

If you need further help or need a second-opinion, feel free to ask your HCC Librarians!

We can be reached at 828-627-4550,, or in-person in the 200 building.

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

How To Identify Popular Magazines:

  • published weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly
  • wide variety of interests (food, celebrities, parenting, book reviews, etc)
  • shiny or glossy covers
  • lots of images (including celebrities) and lots of advertisements
  • short articles, including editorials (or opinion pieces)

How to Identify Scholarly Journals:

  • published monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly
  • specific topics relating to a field of study
  • articles written by professionals in a field of study (biologists, historians, researchers)
  • limited or no advertisements
  • images are less glossy and may include charts, graphs, or tables
  • longer articles and typically include a list of References/Bibliography


Using the CRAAP Test for Evaluating

The CRAAP Test:

  • Currency: How old is the information? When was the website created? Has the website been updated or edited recently?
  • Relevance: Does the information relate to my topic? 
  • Authority: Who wrote the information? Does the author have professional degrees? Are the degrees related to the information presented?
  • Accuracy: Is the information accurate? Are there statistics or charts? Can the information be verified in another source? Who is the information written for: students, researchers, scientists, general public?
  • Purpose: Is the information trying to sell you a product? Does the information promote one idea or arguement? Is there an overall bias to the information?

Website Evaulation

In addition to using The CRAAP Test for website evaluation, think about these questions as well:

  • Mission/Vision/About Us: Is there an "About Us" or "Contact Us" page/link that provides detailed information? Can you locate a mailing address or phone number?
  • Credentials: Is the website backed by a national organization or professional in a field of study? Can you locate their contact or educational background information?
  • Currency: Can you locate a date when the website was created? When was the website last revised or edited?
  • Links: Are their links to other websites? Is the website loaded with links to external sites? Are those external sites reputable sites or advertisements? 
  • Domain: what does the URL end with? 
    • .org organization (reserved for organizations-be careful as .org can include non-profit and for-profit organizations with a specific persuasive argument)
    • .edu education site (reserved for college, university, school use)
    • .gov government site (reserved for governmental purposes)
    • .com commercial (most typical form of website address-anyone can purchase a .com site address)