Research Guide for

ENGC 1101 College Writing (Heinsohn)


CRAAP Test for Credibility

More about the CRAAP test from Widener Universtiy -

Helpful Sites for Evaluating Advocacy Organizations

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) - The BBB has been around for over 110 years to help consumers identify trustworthy businesses. 
  • Charity Navigator - Rating Charities/non-profits/advocacy sites for over 20 years. 
  • GuideStar - Provide ratings for non-profit organizations

Helpful Sites for Evaluating Colleges

Niche - Provides a list of best colleges, but also allows you to search colleges of interest
U.S. News and World Reports College Search - Search colleges around the country
Princeton Review
Colleges of Distinction
US Department Of Education College Scorecard - This site provides statistics on colleges and universities from around the country based on the most current data available (usually trails current date by one year).

Use Lateral Reading to Verify Information

The best way to verify information is to look outside of website you are evaluating! This process is called lateral reading. 

Lateral Reading Strategies:
  • Find information on the author or organization: Google the author's name or the name of the organization. Do they have a Wikipedia page? A LinkedIn page? A biography on a university or legitimate news site? Read through this information. What is the author's education and experience? Have they written for websites/newspapers/magazines that you are familiar with and trust? If you are evaluating an organization, who leads the organization? What can you learn about them?
  • Triangulate: Read through at least three articles on the same subject. These three stories will probably vary in the information that is presented. Taken together though, you should have a good idea of what the truth on the issue is. Think of it like the Venn diagram below. The green area is where all the articles agree. This is the information that should be trusted. 
  • Find information on the website using Wikipedia: Wikipedia isn't a source you want to cite in your research paper, but it is helpful for learning about a website or news source. Oftentimes, you will find information on who funds the site or political leanings that are common. 
See our full guide on Recognizing Misinformation on the Internet for more strategies.

Helpful Databases for Evaluating Medical Information

Health & Medicine E-book Collection
Selected ebooks on health and medicine topics from Gale.

Consumer Health Complete
Consumer health information (meant for patients and the general public) from popular health magazines, medication guides, and some ebooks.

PubMed (Including MEDLINE)

Citations and abstracts for articles in health and life science journals from MEDLINE and other sources.

Note: Click the Find Full Text button with the Normandale logo to see if the full text of the article is available in another database.


Articles from Newspapers, Magazines, and Academic Journals

ProQuest News & Newspapers

News articles from U.S. newspapers. Includes the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, and many local newspapers.

Academic Search Premier (EbscoHost)
Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database and often a good place to start.

Ask a Librarian

Call, e-mail, or chat with a librarian for more research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290


Libby Merrill
Reference and Instruction Librarian
DavidDavid Vrieze Daniels
Reference and Instruction Librarian

LaceyLacey Mamak
Reference and Instruction Librarian

Note: Your chat question may be directed to a librarian from another college when Normandale librarians are unavailable.

Access Databases from Off Campus

Off-Campus Access Info
In order to access databases and other Library resources from off campus, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Off-campus access to library databases is only available to current Normandale students, staff, and faculty.


Cite your Sources (MLA)

MLA Quick Guide (PDF)
See MLA citation examples for the most common types of sources (9th edition).

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
This website offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page. Uses MLA 9th edition.