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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

AP U.S. G&P: Election Analysis Paper: Websites

Find Credible Websites

Anyone can post anything on the internet, so it's important to find credible websites with information you can rely on. 

Here are several ways to do that:

  • Limit your search to the domains edu and gov for more credible, reliable results. Edu is the domain for U.S. educational institutions such as colleges and universities. Gov is the domain of the U.S. government. Note that a tilde ~ in the URL may signify a teacher's or student's personal page which may not be monitored by the school. Also note that information residing in the gov domain, while still generally reliable, may be incomplete at this time (11/18/20).
  • Search a web directory such as SweetSearch which leverages Google to search only a fully vetted "whitelist" of websites.
  • Use the CRAAP Test below to evaluate a website.

To find reliable websites: 

  • SweetSearch: a Search Engine for Students leverages Google to search only a fully vetted "whitelist" of websites.
  • Google
    • Limit your search to U.S. educational institutions and government agencies by including the phrase site:edu OR site:gov Note: if there is a tilde ~ in the edu address, it may be a student's personal page which is not monitored by the institution.
    • Think about terms you can swap in and out.
    • Click on Tools at the top of your result list and use the any time drop-down menu to limit the time frame of your results.


Pew Research Election 2020 A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world through public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.

Brookings Institute U.S. Politics and Government Brookings brings together more than 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of public policy issues.

Journalists Toolbox Election 2020 The Journalist’s Toolbox has been part of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2008. It is edited and updated by Univerity of Illinois-Chicago journalism professor Mike Reilley, who founded the site in 1996.

NPR 2020 Election from National Public Radio


  • displays the day’s top news stories from the Left, Center and Right of the political spectrum — side-by-side so you can see the full picture. Be sure to also look at Allsides' Media Bias Ratings page with ratings of over 800 media sources.
  • MediaBias / FactCheck Evaluations of more than 3400 media sources.


  • OpenSecrets Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. 
  • National Institute on Money in Politics The NIMP is an American nonprofit organization that tracks campaign finance data. The organization publishes the Follow The Money website, where it compiles political funding information from government disclosure agencies.




If you have any questions,

see Mr. Padgett or Ms. Taylor

OR email us at

We're here to help!

Use the CRAAP Test for Evaluating Websites

CRAAP = Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?   

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    •  examples:
      • .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government)
      • .org (nonprofit organization), or
      • .net (network)

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

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • 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?

The CRAAP Test was developed by Sarah Blakeslee and her colleagues at Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

NoodleTools Tips for Citing Websites

PLEASE NOTE: Do not copy and paste complete citations from web pages if given. NoodleTools cannot generate footnotes from copies and pasted citation.


For a new citation, click on +New Source and choose Website.

  • Remember: a website is an online source you discover through Google (or another search engine).
  • Websites can contain many kinds of sources including:
    • reference articles, ebook content, journal articles, primary sources, newspaper articles, speech transcripts, images, etc.
  • If you can determine it, select the source type from the list under Website in NoodleTools.
  • If it's not clear what type of source it is, choose Webpage.

If you would like help evaluating a source, see (or email) Mr. Padgett or Ms. Taylor.
We're happy to help!