Connecting with Ideas

CWI library staff won the Association of College and Research Library's 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries award

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Created by Ryan P. Randall


I'm Ryan Randall, from the library!

I'm here to help you prepare for your next assignment. And the rest of your classes, to be honest.

What have you already done in the library?

  • Printing?
  • Used the textbooks on reserve?
  • Used one of our many computers?
  • Requested an article or book?
  • Used the online chat?
  • Used the anatomical models?

Have your kids used the children's section?

Image of NCMP library's children's section with children's books

Did you come dressed up for Halloween?

Read from our Popular Fiction sections?

Popular Fiction book shelves

Here's some more library resources!

Source Evaluation & the SIFT Moves

"Don't Hit Any Other Cars"

  • Well-meaning advice isn't always useful. — What's a better way to help drivers learn how to drive?
  • Make the SIFT moves as natural as "look over your shoulder before you change lanes!"

SIFT Moves Help You Get Context, Fast!

  • Stop! — Don't waste your time reading junk.
  • Investigate the Source — Try Wikipedia. Really!
  • Find better coverage — Are these "facts" also in the news sections of the NY Times, the Associated Press, the Guardian, CNN, or other reputable venues?
  • Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context — CWI Library can help you find original sources. So can Google Scholar!

CRAAP test criteria

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test.

Not a "Test"—It's Guidelines

Captain Barbossa saying 'The code is more what you call guidelines than actual rules'

  • The CRAAP criteria help you decide where to place your trust. They're not a simple litmus test.


man hanging from clocktower clock face

  • When was this source published?
  • The timeframe of some information is crucial.


multiple 'why?'s written on chalkboard

  • Why is this right for this assignment?
  • Are its approach and depth suitable for your purposes?


Carmen Sandiego

  • Who wrote this?
  • Do they have appropriate expertise on this subject?


Merida shooting a bullseye with an arrow

  • How does this source support its claims?
  • Can you check where the authors got their facts & examples?


File label that says 'purpose'

  • Why was this written?
  • Is the author trying to benefit personally from this?

CRAAP test criteria

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test.

Map Your Research Process

BB8 droid projecting a map

Take two minutes to write an overview of how and where you research things.

What did your overview include?

Research as a circular puzzle. The stages are: define task, identify options, select sources, analyze content, and present findings. Evaluate is an interior piece linking all the outside circular pieces.

Research process as a hiking map

What's this about "Fake News?"

Facebook Echo Chambers

Fake News Examples

Let's Break "Fake News" Down

  • misinformation
  • unintentionally false
  • disinformation
  • intentionally false
  • propaganda
  • false and usually emotionally manipulative

How to Spot Fake News

This handout could help!

Why Does Fake News Exist?

This LA Times article suggests it's most often about money.

What are the consequences of fake news?

Well, at Comet Pizza, "Fake News Brought Real Guns"

For more…

We could talk a lot more about this!

UW even has a whole class about reasoning in a digital world. Check it out if you care about this stuff.

Let's get cracking!

Search for a couple articles related to your topic and fill out this worksheet.

After eight minutes, let's talk about what you found.

How did this go? Let me know at!

Keep in touch with the CWI Library

Please schedule an appointment with a CWI Librarian if you'd like further research assistance.

You can also get help from the College of Western Idaho Libraries through our online chat, our FAQ pages, calling or texting us, and email!

Thank you for your time!


"Pulling a book off the shelf" photo by Bennington College's Crossett Library with a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.
Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test. LOEX Quarterly, 31(3), 6-7. Retrieved from
"Purpose" photo by Seth Sawyers with a CC BY 2.0 license and given some minimal filtering by Ryan.

"Reflect • Learn • Connect" photo by Seattle Community Colleges with a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.