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Political Science: Evaluating your Sources

Select print and web based resources for researching Political Science

Why not Wikipedia?

Instructors often tell students they can't use Wikipedia as a source, but sometimes don't give any reason why not. We hope the resources listed on this page will shed some light on the benefits and disadvantages of Wikipedia.

Evaluating your sources

 

Evaluating the sources you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. The questions you ask to evaluate books, periodical articles, or web sources are similar. This list will help you to critically analyze your sources. These are  some of the critical questions you should ask when you consider the appropriateness of a particular book, article, or web site for your research. 

Authority

Accuracy

Objectivity

Currency

Suitability

Evaluating the Web

Copyright & Fair Use

Plagiarism

The C.R.A.A.P. Test

C.R.A.A.P. is short for

C.  Currency

R. Reliability

A. Authority

A. Accuracy

P. Purpose/Point of View

Applying the C.R.A.A.P. Test is one way to evaluate the quality and value of a source (book, article, website, etc.) before you start writing. The quality of your final research project is related to the quality of the sources you use. Check out this useful handout on how to use the C.R.A.A.P. test for evaluating sources.

C.R.A.A.P. Test

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