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3.2 Filtering and organising

3.2.2 CRAP sources

The quality of your essay depends partly on the quality of your sources. How do you know which sources you should use and and which ones you should leave out? You may want to try the CRAP model for establishing the quality of your sources: 

Currency - How up to date is your source? 
Reliability - Can the source be trusted? 
Academic authority - Is there a sense of expertise? 
Purpose and bias - What is the author's aim?

Examiners will look at your bibliography carefully. Here is a slide show to illustrate four applications of the CRAP method for evaluating sources: 

Slide show - Applying CRAP detection

Figure 3.2.2a - Your source on trial
How would your source hold up in court? 


Download this worksheet, titled: 'Would you use this?' Rank the value of each source according to the CRAP method of evaluating sources: currency, reliability, authority and purpose. For each criterion, use a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 indicates that the source is most valuable and 1 indicates that it is least valuable.