This guide will help you determine if a website is appropriate for college-level research by applying specific criteria. By using this guide, you will be able to:
Try this search term: "organic food"
- adding quotes " " around your search terms means all the words will be searched for in that exact order
Try this search term too: GMO
- remember to try synonyms and related concepts when you search
Try being more specific: GMO and corn
- try adding terms to narrow your search if you are finding too much
Try limiting to certain domains: "organic food" site:gov
- all of your search results will be limited to .gov domains
Evaluate these websites using the CRAAP test. Are they appropriate for college-level research?:
When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it...but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
When doing a Google search, you can limit your search results to sites from specific domains, such as .edu (academic websites), .gov (government websites) .mil (military websites) or .org (non-profit websites). Websites from these domains usually (although not always!) have reliable content.
To limit your search to a specific domain in Google, type site: .edu after your search terms.
All results will be from .gov websites!