Source Professional in Appearance and Free of Errors
Before you begin, make certain you have:
- Selected three sources from the library database
- At least one source that presents an opposing viewpoint, a position that an opponent of your argument might make
- Applied the C.R.A.A.P.O. test to the sources to determine if they are credible and reliable (Remember, credible sources should score 35 points or more on the test)
Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria for each of your three sources:
- Identify the source by including the author, the title, and the database information.
- Summarize the source. (Explain the main idea, the details or evidence that support the main idea, and the description of if your source supports your argument or an opposing viewpoint.)
- Explain why the source is credible. The C.R.A.A.P.O. test will help; use the C.R.A.A.P.O. Test Worksheet linked in the Supporting Materials Section to see how the source scores.
- Explain how the source supports at least one key point or opposing viewpoint from your argument
The C.R.A.A.P.O. Test Worksheet
The following questions will help you determine whether your source is reliable. First, answer each of the questions for each category below. Once you have responded to each question in a category, assign the category a numerical score between 1 and 10 with 1 meaning the source does not meet the category’s criteria at all and 10 meaning the source meets the category’s criteria excellently. Then add up the scores to determine whether the source passes the (C.R.A.A.P.O.) test!
Category 1: Currency Category 1 Score:
- When was the source published?
- Has the information been revised or updated since?
- Is the information current or out-of-date?
0–3: The information in the source is no longer fully accepted by professionals in the field; the information is no longer accurate today; the information is old enough that it is no longer convincing (especially the statistics and the financial data). If the source is in a rapidly changing field (technology, medicine, etc.), the source was published more than ten years ago.
4–6: The theoretical content of the source is still accurate, but the statistics or financial data are no longer relevant or updated enough to be convincing. If the source is in a rapidly changing field (technology, medicine, etc.), the source was published within the last six to ten years. There have been significant changes in the field since the source was published.
7–10: The information in the source is still accepted by professionals in the field; the information is still accurate today; the information is recent enough to still be relevant (especially the statistics and the financial data). If the source is in a rapidly changing field (technology, medicine, etc.), the source was published within the last five years.
Category 2: Relevance Category 2 Score:
- Does the information relate to your project?
- Have you looked at a variety of other sources? Do other sources meet your needs more effectively?
- Who is the intended audience of the source?
0–3: The source is on the general topic but does not directly support any key points. The source is written for an audience that is not relevant to this assignment (for example, it is written for elementary school students or people in another country).
4–6: The source indirectly supports a key point and may include one or two helpful pieces of evidence. The source is written for an audience that is partly relevant to this assignment.
7–10: The source directly supports a key point and includes specific pieces of evidence that can be used in the essay. The source is written for an audience that is relevant to this assignment.
Category 3: Accuracy Category 3 Score:
- Do evidence and references support the information?
- Has the information been peer-reviewed?
- Is the source professional in appearance and free of errors?
0–3: The source includes no sources or poor sources (blogs, Wikis, etc.). Citations are missing or are confusing. The source includes citation errors. The grammar, spelling, or punctuation are confusing or inconsistent. The source is not formatted professionally and/or contains advertisements.
4–6: The source cites evidence from popular sources (newspapers, organization’s websites, etc.). Citations are present. The source is easy to read and has a neat appearance.
7–10: The source cites evidence from peer-reviewed sources. The source includes enough evidence to support its main points. The source uses a formal documentation style accurately. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and citation conventions are adhered to.
Category 4: Authority Category 4 Score:
- Who is the author?
- What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
- Does a reputable organization publish the source?
0–3: No author is listed, or the author has little knowledge on the topic. The source is published by an unknown or questionable organization (one that is known to hold a bias; one that is known for inaccurate information, etc.).
4–6: The author is listed and has some knowledge of the topic, but the author is not an expert in the field. A reputable organization or institution published the source.
7–10: The author is an expert in the field. The source is published in a scholarly publication that has undergone the peer-review process.
Category 5: Purpose and Objectivity Category 5 Score:
- What is the author’s purpose? To inform? Persuade? Entertain?
- Is the information fact or opinion?
- Does the point of view seem to be objective or biased?
0–3: The author’s purpose is to entertain. The author’s purpose is irrelevant to your purposes (for example, they explain a process, and you need data to help convince readers). The information presented includes only opinions. The author does not consider multiple viewpoints. The author has an underlying agenda.
4–6: The author’s purpose may be to inform or to persuade. The author includes some facts and evidence but relies heavily on opinion. The author does not have overt biases, but some implicit biases are detected. Multiple viewpoints are considered but not thoroughly, fairly, and accurately.
7–10: The author’s purpose may be to inform or to persuade. The author relies on logic, facts, and evidence and writes from an objective viewpoint. The author has no detectable biases. The author considers multiple viewpoints fairly and accurately.