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Media Literacy and Fact-Checking: Step 2: Evaluate the Information

Detecting CRAAP

One of the most popular evaluative tools is the CRAAP test, which encourages the reader to consider information's

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Purpose

The Detecting CRAAP Research Toolkit workshop, available online and as a Pilot module, provides an in-depth explanation of and opportunity to practice the CRAAP evaluative test.

Beyond Fact-Checks: Evaluation Strategies

You might encounter a claim that hasn't already been addressed by a fact-checking site. When this happens, consider these strategies to evaluate the information.

Kovach and Rosenstiel encourage the use of "The Way of Skeptical Knowing." Ask yourself the questions:

  • What kind of content am I encountering?​
  • Is the information complete and, if not, what am I missing?​
  • Who or what are the sources and why should I believe them?​
  • What evidence is presented, and how is it tested or vetted?​
  • What might be an alternative explanation or understanding?
  • Am I learning what I need to?

Aveyard, Sharp, and Wooliams offer a distinction between critical thinking and critical appraisal. Apply the questions from the critical appraisal approach when you are evaluating information to facilitate critical thinking. 

Critical Thinking  

Adopting a questioning approach and thoughtful attitude to what you think, see, or hear, rather than accepting things at face value.

Critical Appraisal

Consider the strengths and limitations of the evidence you see and hear, depending on the type of evidence you have. Ask: 

  • Where does it come from?
  • What is being said?
  • How did they write this?
  • Who is telling me this?
  • When was it written?
  • Why was it written?

Ask your librarian!