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Senior Project: Accuracy

Guide to the research process required to complete the WSA Senior Project.

The CRAAP Test

Personification of 'truth, wood engraving, c1840, American - Britannica ImageQuestAccuracy:  The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  •  Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

On this page you can learn:

Why you need to check for accuracy - and how to do it
Fact-checking sites to help you evaluate information you find on the Web

Checking for Accuracy

When you are quoting data or information in your work you must be confident that the information is accurate.  You need to ask:

  • Is the information reliable and error-free?
  • Is there an editor who verifies and/or checks the information?

Why?  Because:

  • Anyone can publish anything on the web!
  • Unlike traditional print resources, many web resources will not have editors or fact-checkers.
  • Currently, no web standards exist to ensure accuracy.

Indicators that peer-reviewed journal articles from databases like JSTOR, Questia School, and ProQuest will be accurate:

  • Written by college and university scholars - professors, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.
  • Published in scholarly journals that each have there own criteria for accepting articles for publication.
  • Include in-text citations and references so the information can be verified.

Fact-Checking Sites

When researching, think like a journalist:  check your facts!  You can use these websites to help you evaluate whether information you have found on the Internet is valid and reliable.

Stearns, Josh, and Leighton Walter Kille. "
     Tools for Verifying and Assessing the  Validity of Social Media and User-Generated Content." Journalist's Resource. Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 Aug. 2015. ;< 


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