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EN 1200 Composition, Wisniewski Fall 2015

Libguide for composition

CRAP test

The CRAP Test

"Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him."  

Ernest Hemingway, Atlantic Monthly interview, August 1954

You apply this test every day on things family and friends tell you, so why not use it on information you find for your research papers?  The CRAP test is easy!  Here are the criteria.


  • How recent is the information?
  • If a website, how recently has it been updated?
  • Is the information current enough for your topic?


  • What kind of information is included in this material or website?
  • Is the content of the material expressing an opinion?  Is the information balanced?
  • Does the author or creator provide references for data or quotations?


  • Who is the author or creator of the material and what are their credentials?
  • Who is sponsoring this website?  What is the primary mission of the sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?


  • What is the intent of the article or material?  Persuade you?  Sell you something?
  • For web sources, what is the domain (i.e. .org, com. edu) and how may that influence the type of material and its point of view?
  • Are there advertisements on the page and how do they relate to the topic being covered?  For example, is there an ad for a weight loss over the counter drug located next to an article on the fastest ways to lose those extra pounds?

Use this test often and be a cautious information consumer!

Browse through this article, reading enough so that you will be able to answer the CRAP test questions:






Can you find a date for this article?
No, there is no date present.: 0 votes (0%)
For my purposes, the date doesn't matter.: 0 votes (0%)
The date for this article is October 24, 2014: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0


Does this article express an opinion?
No, it is unbiased: 0 votes (0%)
I'm not sure.: 0 votes (0%)
Yes, they are blaming the "Zio" media for obesity.: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0


Did you see the name of an author for this article?
Yes, the author is David Duke.: 0 votes (0%)
No, I did not see an author's name: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0


The domain for this article is .com. What is this website trying to sell?
I can't really tell.: 0 votes (0%)
It is selling a special diet.: 0 votes (0%)
There are ads for purchasing material related to or written by David Duke.: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0