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Writing 2010 Library & Research Guide

Evaluation of Information

ALL information is valuable.

That being said, there are decisions to make when electing to use information.

Most times, the question that you will ask yourself is, "What is my purpose for getting this information?"  Your answer will help direct you to the places you should visit in order to investigate the information you find.  The places you go to find choices for a new phone or a new computer will be different than the work you do for your classes.

This isn't always the case.

Google isn't bad.  I use it every day like my life depends on it, but It is a tool just like everything else.  We choose the correct tools for the job, right?

The video to the right will go into questions that you will want to consider when you evaluate information.

How can the rhetorical triangle be used in evaluation of information? (Good question!)

It is also helpful to remember the rhetorical triangle and apply it in order to analyze whether you can trust information due to its context, the speaker's credibility within it, and the audience to whom they're speaking, for just a few points.  These jive entirely with the CRAAP Test and the 4 Ws and H Model.

Writing and research are married and it will become more clear over time how interconnected the two are.

Please don't hesitate to ask your instructor and librarians to help you parse this out because it often isn't clear.

SIFT Method: Beyond the CRAAP Test

A newer method that seeks to expand upon the CRAAP Test is Caulfield's SIFT Method.

The Four Moves (SIFT)Stop...Investigate the resource...Find Trusted Coverage...Trace to original context.

Read more about the SIFT method and why it expands evaluation and evaluation of information.

How do I evaluate information?

There are many things to consider when we begin to evaluate information. 

How can we trust the information we find?  Will it make me look like a fool?  Will I lose a ton of money by buying an inferior product? Will I have to pay for the information?  Is someone just trying to sell a product or idea? Is there bias in the information? What is the stance or the author and publication?  Are one or both biased in one direction or another?  Is this information credible?  Why or why not?

As you begin to go through the ways to evaluate information with the CRAAP Test, 5Ws & H Model, and SIFT, these are the beginning questions, but many more will present as you move through analyzing and synthesizing information for your purposes.

SIFT Method: Beyond the CRAAP Test (continued)

The previous module to the left introduced you to the SIFT method, first though the author's intent in his blog post, and followed by two clear and adept videos from West Valley College Library In Saratoga, California.

SIFT Method, Part 1 demonstrates the first two steps: (1) Stop, and (2) Investigate the Source.

SIFT Method, Part 2 follows: (3) Find trusted coverage.

Now, we will follow through the process with the final step: SIFT Method, Part 3: (4) Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context.


Please keep in mind that these videos often go to web resources, but that doesn't mean that all of these elements and steps shouldn't also be applied to research that you find in research databases or government databases or other libraries.  No matter where you find information, it should always be evaluated for suitability for your purposes: argument or counter argument; persuasion; hard-cold facts; etc.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library