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CSEM — Constructing a Good, Sustainable Life (Narvaez)

CAARPP Detector

What I think about how current the source is in relationship to my research need . . .

Currency: The chronological relationship between the source’s date and my research need.

  • When was the information created, published, and/or last updated?
  • To what extent is my topic in an area that changes rapidly, like technology or popular culture?
  • Does my research need require current information or will older sources work as well?

What I think about the authority of the source in relationship to my research need . . .

Authority: The author or creator of the information.

  • Who is the creator/author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations? (might have to search more to find this)
  • How is the author’s expertise and credibility related to this topic/issue?
    • What type of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g. scholarship), social position (e.g. public office or title), or special experience (e.g. participating in a historic event) does the author have?
  • Is there an easy way to contact the author if I have questions?
  • What questions/doubts remain about the authority?

What I think about the information’s accuracy in relationship to my research need . . .

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Was the information reviewed by others (editors or subject experts) before it was published?

  • What citations or references support the author’s claims?
  • Can I verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
    • Does the author omit important facts or data or references that might disprove a claim?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors? How does this influence my perception of accuracy?

What I think about the source’s relevance in relationship to my research need . . .

Relevance: The extent to which this source meets my research needs.

  • Does the source meet the stated requirements of my assignment?
  • Does the source contribute to my research needs or answer my research question?
  • Who is the intended audience of this source?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for my needs)?
  • Is the information from this source complete? Would looking at a mix of other sources improve my understanding of the information's relevance?
  • How does using this source help me understand the larger conversation around this research question/need?

What I think about the source’s main purpose in terms of my research need . . .

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • Is the purpose of the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Whose voice is not being heard?
  • Does the author’s purpose match my purpose for using this information?

What I think about the fit between the creation process of the information and my research need . . .

Process: The effort and steps behind the creation and delivery of information.

  • How much reflection, research, or revising do I think went into the process of creating the information? How does this influence my perception of the information?
  • How does the author’s choice in sharing the information (e.g. tweet, blog posting, YouTube video, press release, report, newspaper editorial, magazine article, book, scholarly journal article) match the author’s purpose?

“CAARPP Detector” by University of Notre Dame is adapted from CRAAPP Detector by Phoenix College which is adapted from the CSU-Chico CRAAP Test and created and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Information manifests in a wide variety of formats and contexts, including: images, charts, video, and audio.

ACRL Framework

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

"The Framework is organized into six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions. The six concepts that anchor the frames are presented alphabetically:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration"

Association of College and Research Libraries (Filed by the ACRL Board on February 2, 2015. Adopted by the ACRL Board, January 11, 2016.)

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Filters

Propaganda model

  • Ownership
  • Advertising
  • Sourcing
  • Flak
  • Anti-communism and fear

Other Heuristics

AAC&U. Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills [STIRS] Framework

Busey, C.L. (2016, 14 October). Teaching the election with purpose: Toward a framework of racial media literacy and [socio] political consciousness when discussing elections in the social studies classroom. The Clearinghouse: A journal of educational strategies, issues and ideas, 89, 228-234.

Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet

Koc, M., Barut, E. (2016, October). Development and validation of New Media Literacy Scale (NMLS) for university students. Computers in human behavior, 63, 834–843.




Key Terms

Alternative facts



Congnitive bias


Inquiry education

Native advertising/ Sponsored content



Propaganda model


Other glossaries:

Browser Plug-ins

B.S. Detector (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Fake News Alert (Chrome)

This is Fake (Chrome, for Facebook feed)

Identifying Fake Sources

Mantzarlis, A. (2015, 23 November). 6 tips to debunk fake news stories by yourself. Poynter. Retrieved from

Nagler, C. (2016) 4 Tips for spotting a fake news story

Shore, J. (2017, 8 February). The Unbelievability of fake news 

Zimdars, M. (2016) False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical "News" Sources

Fun Stuff

In the realm of historical:

War of the worlds: Invasion from Mars [Streaming Audio]. (1997). L. A. Theatre Works. (1997). Retrieved March 24, 2017, from Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection. Available from Library Reserves, College Seminar Spring 2017, Darcia Navaez, CSEM 23102 - 41, 42.

The Warming pan incident of 1688

Allthemed Docs. (2017, February 3). British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley. Episode 2: The Glorious Revolution. [Video file]. Retrieved from

"In this episode, Lucy debunks another of the biggest fibs in British history - the 'Glorious Revolution'." [Includes The Warming pan incident (6:40); 1st printed propaganda (25:29)]. "In 1688, the British Isles were invaded by a huge army led by Dutch prince, William of Orange. With his English wife Mary he stole the throne from Mary's father, the Catholic King James II. This was the death knell for absolute royal power and laid the foundations of our constitutional monarchy. It was spun as a 'glorious and bloodless revolution'. But how 'glorious' was it really? It led to huge slaughter in Ireland and Scotland. Lucy reveals how the facts and fictions surrounding 1688 have shaped our national story ever since."

(CC:BY 3.0)

Other instances, Ancient to modern


DigiPo  Digital Polarization Initiative ... of AASCU's American Democracy Project

Trust Project An initiative of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara (CA) University.

Ted Talks

Adichie, C. N. (2009, July). Chimanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story. [Video file]. Retrieved from

CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International