College writing requires a higher degree of quality and reliability from sources than does high school or personal writing. The information you use needs to be accurate, credible, reliable, and timely. The days of doing a Google search and using the first pages you find that talk about your subject are over. You need to use sources written by subject experts or those who have done quality research on the topic.
Evaluating sources involves thinking critically about what you read. You cannot take for granted that anything you read or hear is true and accurate. You have to consider who wrote it, why they wrote it, and often where it was published/presented.
Keep in mind that your purpose for researching/writing will have an influence on how you evaluate your sources. Consider the following scenarios:
With Internet sources it can be difficult to determine quality and reliability. Finding information about who wrote it, their credentials, biases of the author/organization, and purpose can be difficult and sometimes impossible.
The C.R.A.A.P. test is one method to help you evaluate your sources. The following short video produced by the Johnson & Wales University Denver Campus Library will show you what it is and how you can use it.