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Lansing Community College Library

Child Development and Early Childhood Education: Evaluating

This guide provides resources, support, and information on early childhood education.

Evaluating Information

Misleading and inaccurate information can be found everywhere. It is important to always take a moment to consider and think about where the information is coming from. Use the tips on this page to help you evaluate informational sources like websites, newspapers, and magazines.

CRAAP Test - Evaluation Criteria

Evaluate your information using the CRAAP test. Based on what you discover, go back, brainstorm, and do more research.

Currency
How new (or old) is the information? 
Is the information out of date for your topic?
Relevance
Does the information address your topic, thesis and supporting arguments? 
Is it at an appropriate level (i.e not too elementary or too advanced?)
Authority
Who wrote the information? Individual or institution? Are they credible?
Are the author's credentials or qualifications given?
Is there author's contact information?
Accuracy
Is the information consistent with other sources? 
Does the information seem biased?
Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
Purpose
Why was the information created? To persuade? To educate? To sell something?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
Are there political, cultural, institutional or personal biases and opinions?

Information Cycle

Information is instantly available, often as an event unfolds we are watching it occur.  As we move farther from the time an event occurred, different types of information sources emerge.   

                    Information cycle described in sections from the moment an event happens till years later.

How can I find out what type of source I have?

Different Types of Sources

Academic Journals

  • Written by experts for other experts
  • Very specialized and technical language
  • Includes complete bibliographies and works cited
  • Often presents primary research and considered scholarly

Trade Publications

  • Written for those who work in a specific industry
  • Not considered scholarly or popular
  • Authors can be journalists, practitioners, or academics
  • Sometimes published by trade or professional organizations

News Sources

  • Reports and recounts on recent events
  • Written by journalists and editors
  • Easy language to understand
  • Post, gazette, times 

Magazines

  • Written by journalists
  • Common language; everybody can understand and read
  • Sources maybe cited within the article; no works cited page
  • Can be published daily, weekly, or monthly formats