When I was in High School, there were always things most teachers would always say at the start of the year. Things like “This isn’t like last year, things are going to be different”, or “I’m not holding your hand” or one of my favorites “ You should be doing 2 to 3 hours of homework a day for this class”. But the one thing that was often said that always boggled my mind was “You can’t use Wikipedia”.
Well here are some reasons why you should do research on Wikipedia anyways this school year.
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1. Anyone can add to Wikipedia.
The main reason why teachers and other figures of academic authority tell you shouldn’t use Wikipedia is actually a reason why you should. Yes, it’s true that the information on any given page could have been written by a hoodlum vandal or someone who is ill-informed, but it could also have been written by an expert on the subject. And thanks to Wikipedia’s moderator team, the bad stuff tends to disappear pretty quickly.
Everything in Wikipedia has to be cited to its original source, which means that a the bottom of each page is a section devoted to linking you back to where the information was taken from. Now the reason this is a big help is because, in most cases, the Wikipedia page is a condensed version of all the information. And normally, that’s more then enough.
But for those times you need even more information, following the citation links can be useful to furthering your research.
3. It’s Convenient.
This is the number one reason you should use Wikipedia for research. Life can be a crazy thing, and sometimes you don’t have as much time as you would like. The fact that so much information is there in one place, and that it’s formatted in a way that is easy to navigate, it can really speed up your research time. If you’re supposed to have “2-3 hours of homework per night” per class, you can use all the help you can get.