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U.S. Domestic Policy Research

How to research policy and legislation applying to those in the United States of America

Starting with a known source is a good way to find quality information.

This might be a trusted news organization's website or a library database.

Accessing Trusted News Sources

Many trusted news sources are behind paywalls. You can access that content through library databases. 

Learn how to find trusted news in library databases. 

A Few Trusted News Sources on the Web

Regardless of how you find a resource, it's a good idea to take a closer look before using it as a source.

The CRAAP test below is a great tool to help you evaluate a source. Trusted sources have higher authority. You can also employ lateral reading skills and look at fact-checking sources.

Evaluate Your Source with the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP test guides us through some questions to ask about a source to determine its quality.


- When was this published? Has it been updated?
- Is the information still accurate now or is it out-of-date or incomplete?


- Will this source help you understand your topic or complete your assignment?
- Does this source meet your assignment's criteria? 


- Who published this? Is this a source others trust? ​
- Who wrote this? What are their credentials?


Is there evidence for claims made–maybe citations?
- Can you verify the information in other places?
- Do we know or believe this information was reviewed before publication--whether by fact-checkers or through a peer-review process?


- Is this source trying to sell something? Is it intended to entertain?
- Are these opinions, based on one perspective, or facts?
- Does this source seem biased?

Tip: You can answer these questions using information from the source and the rest of the web. Don't recognize a publication or website? Google it to see what others are saying!

Lateral Reading

Lateral Reading

Lateral reading is a method used by professional fact-checkers to determine a source's credibility:

  • Open new tabs and search for information about the website you're reading from Wikipedia or credible news sources.
  • Look for information about the mission, funding, and potential biases.
  • Go beyond the news story and look for the original resource or other scholarly information using Library resources.




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