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WR122 Donnelly

Research guide for Taylor Donnelly's most excellent WR122 class.


CNN Politics. "Pope Francis Arrives for U.S. Bishops' Meeting." CNN, 23 Sept. 2015,


CRAP Test.

Currency How recent is the information? How recently has the website been updated? Is it current enough for your topic

Reliability What kind of information is included in the resource? Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced? Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations? Where did the author get their info? Is the information accurate and well-edited?

Authority Who is the creator or author? What are their credentials? Who is the publisher or sponsor? Are they reputable? What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?

Purpose Is this fact or opinion? Is it biased? Is the creator/author trying to sell you something? Are there advertisements on the website? 

Apply the CRAP Test

For an in-class activity, apply the CRAP Test to this information source:

Recognizing opinions in information sources

How do you know if you're reading an opinion? 

  1. An opinion is an expression of someone's feelings that cannot be proven.
  2. Opinions are based on one's thoughts, feelings and understanding.
  3. Opinions can be based on facts, which gives them more credibility.
  4. Though an opinion may be widely accepted, that does not make it a fact.
  5. Opinions often include language that appeals to one's emotions.

Example of an opinion:

Animal experimentation must continue because the positive impact on human health is more important than the negative impact on animals bred specifically for that purpose.

Recognizing facts in information sources

How do you know if you're reading a fact?

  1. Facts can be proven true or false.
  2. Facts often include information, or citations, telling the reader where the information came from. Makes them easy to "fact check," if you will.
  3. Facts do not include emotional or connotative language.

Examples of facts:

Animal experimentation contributes to life-saving cures and treatments for humans.

Animal experimentation is limited to frogs and chupacabras.
(This is a false fact, but it is still a fact!)

That tablecloth stunt, while impressive...

...was not actually performed by Pope Francis. That edited video clip appeared on Ellen Degeneres' daytime talk show on September 30th, 2015. Learn more, and always evaluate your information sources.

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