Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning


Adam Yeargin | Published: March 24th, 2021 by K20 Center


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This strategy promotes critical thinking when analyzing information sources for research purposes. A-CLAP gives students a framework for evaluating the credibility of a website, article, book, or other source.



Students examine an information source using the categories outlined in the mnemonic device A-CLAP.


  1. Authority: Is there an author, an editor, publisher, or institution provided? Does the individual or organization list their qualifications or credentials?

  2. Currency: Is there a date that shows when the source was published or last updated? Keep in mind that not knowing the date of publication for factual or statistical information can call its accuracy into question.

  3. Leaning: Look for objective sources that present information with minimal bias and without the intention to persuade. If a debatable issue is covered, are multiple perspectives presented in a balanced way?

  4. Accuracy: Based on the reading you have already done on the subject, can you corroborate this information with other sources? Is factual information referenced in footnotes or a "Works Cited" list?

  5. Purpose: Judge whether the source is geared to a scholarly or non-professional audience. Is the information relevant to your needs? If online, use the URL or other linked websites to help you determine its purpose.

  6. Given the criteria listed above, ask students to assess the reliability of this source and summarize evidence supporting their claim.

Schrock, K. (2019, September 7). Critical Evaluation.