What is my assignment?
· Do I understand what I am supposed to do? Do I need to clarify anything with my instructor?
· When is it due? How will I plan my time to allow me to do this assignment well?
What kind of information do I need? (Can be more than one at the same time)
· Persuasive: Goal of convincing a point of view; someone’s point of view
· Informative: Provides facts and educates on a topic
· Primary source: Original source for a historical event (letters, diaries, etc.)
· Secondary source: Written after a historical event to interpret past events
· Academic/Scholarly/ Peer-reviewed source: Written by an expert in the field to teach people about a topic
· Popular: Written by anyone (maybe an expert, maybe not) to be persuasive, informative, or entertaining
· Statistics: Informative numbers, usually about a population
What is the “container” for the information that I need?
Note: Links will take you to corresponding resources
· Dissertation or thesis: Written by graduate students to contribute new information to their field. For most of your undergraduate work, you will not need dissertations
· Articles: shorter works (usually ranging from 15-50 pages) with a narrow focus
· Newspapers: short columns/essays about current events
· Books: A longer work with a broader focus or a collection of articles or essays
· Online databases: Collections of articles available to students and faculty via Murphy Library (you can access on or off campus)
Is this information right for me at this time?
The CRAAP test (courtesy of California State University Chico) is one way of deciding if information is of the quality needed for a college assignment. Please note that this checklist method is not perfect and that not every question is appropriate for every source. If you have questions about a source that you find, please see a librarian or your professor.
Download a PDF file of the CRAAP test.