Skip to Main Content

Research Steps: Basic Research Steps 3, 4, & 5

You may use this guide as a model for following the research process.

Steps for a Basic Research Process

Steps 3, 4, and 5

Step 4 -- No Luck so far, Refine Your Topic

Do you like what you found during step 3?

No: Go back to step one and refine your topic.

Yes: Go to Step Five.

Step 5-- Resource Suggestions tfor Collecting and Saving Sources

Collect and Save Sources

As your are researching when you find an article or source you want to use in your research, evaluate it, then save it for later.

Most databases offer you the option of :

  • Emailing it to yourself
  • Printing it
  • Exporting it to Google Drive
  • Downloading it to your personal computer
  • Etc.

Look for the icons to perform these operations.

Step 5 CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is an acronym for a short list of criteria used to evaluate sources.

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the source published, posted and /or updated?
  • Is content current or out-of date ?

Relevance: Does the information fit your needs.

  • Is it related to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is responsible for it, who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Do they have good credentials?
  • Is the source from a credible website or domain? examples: .edu .gov .org 

Accuracy: Is the information reliability, truthful, and correct.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: Why was this source created.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

This is a modified version of a document created by Sarah Blakeslee at Meriam Library, CSU Chico.

Step 3 -- Suggestions to Help You Find Sources

Resources to help you find sources for your topic.

Step 3 -- OneSearch

Step 3 -- Search these Databases - Find Articles, etc.

In addition to OneSearch, try these databases for news, magazine, and journal articles for writing your papers:

Step 3 -- GRCC Library OneSearch

Search for articles, books, videos, & more...

Step 3 -- Google Search

Google Web Search

Google Advanced Search

Use this link to narrow down by Site or Domain; use .gov for government resource and .edu for educational resources.