3rdApril

Most Teachers Reject Wikipedia As a Reliable Source

Over the last several years, Wikipedia has emerged as a popular resource for students. From detailing the colony cycle of bumblebees to the history of Arsenal Football Club, Wikipedia has become a super-center for encyclopedia information. However, Wikipedia is an open site, meaning that anyone can contribute material into it. While the site is policed by its users and is a great example of the Wisdom of Crowds theory, it may not always be reliable. On many topics, competing schools of thought often battle it out in Wikipedia entries, and some people’s work gets erased and replaced with an alternate version of “facts.” The more controversial the topic, the more often this occurs.

While Wikipedia can be useful as a general overview in certain subjects, students should avoid citing it as a source for research papers. Teachers are generally leery of Wikipedia, and look for their students to cite more reliable, authoritative sources. In general, whenever a student is researching on the web, it is critical to scroll down to the bottom of any web page to confirm sources, citations and even do an additional search on the author to check out their credibility.



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