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English Composition: Evaluating Web Sites

C.R.A.A.P. Test & Evaluating Online Resources

Use the CRAAP Test method to determine if a web resource is right for you. Evaluate sources based on the following points:
CRAAP MethodCRAAP Method

  • Currency: When was the information published? Is it up to date?
  • Relevance: Is the information what you're really looking for? Who is the material written for: academics, professionals, students, or the general public?
  • Authority: Who published, wrote, or edited the information? Is the author an expert on the topic?
  • Accuracy: Is the information reliable and accurate? Do other sources verify this information?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the information? Is it biased to one point of view?

Types of Top Level Domains and their Uses

As a starting point for evaluation websites, often people use the part of the web address immediately after the "dot" (for example, .com) to try to determine who runs the site. This part of the address (or URL) is called a "top-level domain". The websites you most frequently visit have top-level domains, or TLDs, that likely fall into one of the following categories:

  • Country Codes - TLD is two-letters that represent countries, and individual countries determine who may register within that country code
  • Unrestricted - TLD is three or more letters and has no requirements necessary for an individual or institution to purchase
  • Sponsored - TLD is three or more letters and anyone wishing to purchase a URL with that TLD must meet the requirements of the Sponsoring organization.
This table provides some common top-level domains, the category they fall into, and their typical usage
TLD Category A site with this TLD can be registered by...
.com Unrestricted Anyone, though typically associated wtih
.edu Sponsored An accredited US-based college or university approved by EDUCAUSE
.gov Sponsored federal, state, or local governments within the US approved by an independent government agency
.net Unrestricted Anyone
.org Unrestricted Anyone
.va Country Code officials of the Vatican
.za Country Code mainly South African citizens and businesses, but no policy excludes others from registering

Is it real?

Ultimately, it will be up to you to distinguish if a website is credible and the information is correct and unbiased.  These sites can help you weed out "fake" news




Issues regarding public policy at a local, state and federal level can be investigated here

Google Advanced

Google's Advanced search provides easy access to more relevant results. 

Add .edu, .org, or .gov into the "site or domain" box to target more reliable websites.

Example image of a Google Advance search

Evaluation Activity

Evaluate the below websites using the CRAAP method.

The Burmese Mountain Dog Club

Republic of Molossia

Wolf Restoration


Can we trust these sites?  Why or Why Not?

UCC LibGuides at Union County College