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Diehl-Matto COMP111: Finding Credible Websites

This research guide will help students locate and use appropriate databases for their research on current issues. The guide will also include tips on evaluating websites.

Evaluating Websites for Credibility

You should really be using the library's databases and online resources as sources, but, we will admit that sometimes you can find relevant information on the World Wide Web. If you want to use information from the WWW, you must make sure it is reliable, current, accurate and written at the proper level for a college audience. This is critical thinking and it takes practice, but it must be done if you want to use web resources.  Look at the following C.R.A.A.P.P. checklist for help with vetting online information and apply it to any WWW resources you may consider using.


The C.R.A.A.P.P. Checklist


Title of resource you are evaluating: __________________________________________________________________________________


 URL:  ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________





When was the resource created or updated?


If no date is given, visit the home page to look for the date.

Date _______________________________


Is the information current enough for your topic?


Why might the date matter for your topic?












Are there references given for the resource?


Look for a bibliography or any list of materials used in the creation of the page.




If so, how many?



Is the content primarily opinion?


Is the content biased or balanced? Why might bias matter for your topic?











Who created the resource?

If there is no specific author, what is the name of the organization responsible for the site? You may need to visit the home page to find the answer.



Email or Username: ___________________________________



Name: ______________________________________________


Is there evidence that the creator or organization is an expert on this subject?


Are there references given for the resource? Can you verify the references?

Look for a bibliography or any list of materials used in the creation of the page.



List your evidence (use reverse side if necessary):



Yes                     How many references?






Purpose and Point of View



Why was the resource put on the web?

Are there ads on the site? How do they relate to the topic covered?


Example: an ad selling ammunition next to an article about firearm legislation.


Is the content primarily opinion?



Sales Tool







What is the domain extension?


How might this influence the purpose?









Other __________________



Based on the writing style and vocabulary, who is the intended audience?



General Public

College Students

Scholars or Professionals


Other _________________



Google Advanced Search

Use the Google Advanced Search to limit a domain (.gov, .edu, .org) and more!