Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Lowther Hall Nora Collisson Centre (Library): Research help (OLD)

Analyse websites

Learn to give a CRAAP.

Now that we've got your attention, use this acronym to evaluate the information you find on the web.

C is for currency. When was the website last updated?

R is for relevance. Is the information useful to you?

A is for authority. Who is publishing the information? If it's from Wikipedia, it could be anyone and is not a reliable source.

A is for accuracy. Think about who published it, and if they are likely to be correct. Is a celebrity or a doctor more likely to give accurate health information? Are there references?

P is for purpose or possible bias. Is the author’s purpose to sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?

Is this site trustworthy?

One quick way you can determine if a website is trustworthy or not is to look at its domain.

Look for websites that end with the domain:

.edu  - reserved for schools, colleges and universities

.gov - denotes a government website

Be wary of websites that end with the domain:

.com - can be purchased and used by any individual for any purpose

.net - can be purchased and used by any individual for any purpose

.org - is usually used by non-profit/charity organisations which may have an agenda of persuasion rather than education

Great resources to use

Search your Lowther Hall WorldCat catalogue here

Reading effectively

Effective reading means getting the most out of your reading. This includes:

  • reading with a clear purpose - being able to figure out which resources are relevant to your research, and which ones are not so useful
  • knowing how to preview, skim and scan books or webpages
  • questioning what you're reading, e.g. "Does this make sense?", "What does the author mean about...?" or "Where can I find further information about...?"

The whole point of reading effectively when doing research (either for school or for personal interest) is to understand the author's message without spending too much time in the process.

Useful resources for effective reading

Video: Five ways to spot fake news

Duration: 3:09