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Wikipedia - Good or Bad

Autor:   •  March 7, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,220 Words (5 Pages)  •  32 Views

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Lacy De Frates

First Year Writing Seminar 1

9 April 2017

        My purpose in writing this assignment is to prove a point about the use of Wikipedia. I am trying to say that it should not be trusted by itself, but used to grow upon. I also want to point out that double checking your sources is not something that needs to be done just with Wikipedia, but with all sources that one is using. This was definitely a rough assignment, but I am proud that I stuck it through and I am impressed with how it turned out. There were times when I was not able to convey what I was thinking, but after reaching out to my peers, I was able to get this done and make it sound the way I wanted it to.

Wikipedia: Good or Bad?

The standard way of thinking about Wikipedia is that it should not be used as a reputable source. Many teachers advise against using it due to the fact that any of the articles can be edited by anyone who has an account at any time. An example of this is when a few of his students turned in incorrect information in an essay, Neil L. Waters conducted an investigation using the search engine Google that led him to Wikipedia, which displayed entries that presented him similar misleading data (Waters). Wikipedia can be helpful and is an excellent idea; however, I do not believe that it should ever be used as a single trustworthy source.

Crovitz and Smoot's "Wikipedia: Friend, Not Foe" is essentially stating that Wikipedia is not as corrupt as teachers make it out to be. Although the data may not always be credible, the students who are trying to quote the information should fact check it through other sources as well. When looking up information, one should look more into their sources to be positive that they are relaying all the accurate material. An example of why Wikipedia is not all bad is the article entry of the Virginia tech tragedy of 2007. They describe, “As more information became available the entry grew more detailed, cross-referenced, documented, and fact-checked; as of this writing, the article runs to more than 5,000 words and contains 127 cited sources” (Crovitz). It can also be argued that students should be able to trust the site that they are using to present credible material, which makes Wikipedia a source that cannot be trusted fully.

        When doing online research, Wikipedia can be a simple and stress free way to find supporting evidence whilst writing a report or essay, nonetheless it has been proven on countless occasions that the material is not coming from a dependable source. Along with the information not being reliable, numerous teachers feel as though students do not put forth the time and effort that ensues to do the research in order to receive accurate information; it is easier for one to use Wikipedia.  I feel as though it should not be groundwork of one’s research, but something that a one can use and build upon. Wikipedia should be used to get started with; to gather ideas and evidence that can be looked up elsewhere on a website that is more credible and trustworthy. Once one compiles their thoughts and ideas together, one can start real research and expand further upon their thesis. Although Wikipedia is a useful source to start with, it should not be what one bases their writings on.


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