Skip to Main Content

Resources for Writing a Research Proposal: Evaluating Sources

This guide includes materials to help you write a research proposal.


The evaluation of information sources is a critical step in your research. Because anyone can publish on the Internet, you must choose your information with care. The CRAAP Test is one method for evaluating information sources.


The information's timeliness

  • When was the information published, or when was it last updated?
  • Have any newer articles on your topic been published?
  • Are there any links or references to other sources that are no longer active?
  • Is your subject changing at a rapid pace, such as technology?


The importance of the information for your needs

  • Is the data relevant to your research question?
  • Is the information in accordance with the assignment's specifications?
  • Who is the intended audience
  • Is the information too technical or overly simplified?
  • Does the source teach you anything new about your subject?


The Source of the Information

  • What are the author's qualifications?
  • Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or notable organization?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or publisher?
  • Is it possible to find information about the author in reference books or on the Internet?
  • Is the author cited in other books or articles?


The content's reliability, truthfulness, and correctness

  • Are there any statements you are aware are false?
  • Is there any misspelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes?
  • Was the published work peer-reviewed?
  • Are there any citations or references to back up the author's claims?
  • What do other writers have to say on the subject?


The reason for the existence of the information

  • What compelled the author or publisher to make this information available to the public?
  • Is there a clear bias or prejudice?
  • Are opposing viewpoints presented?
  • Is the author leaving out crucial facts or data that could be used to refute a claim?
  • Is the author's language emotional?