Wikipedia is a great tool for a summary of a topic. Wikipedia content is constantly revised, and entries vary in quality. Some of the content is excellent, some is questionable.
Many educators frown on the use of Wikipedia. Why?
- Wikipedia content is not necessarily written by subject experts, and may be inadequate or incorrect.
- Articles in Wikipedia may be changed or deleted between viewings.
- For research papers, you need authoritative resources, so it is absolutely necessary to consult other sources.
How can you use Wikipedia in a way that benefits your research process?
- Scan the article to get general information and terms you can use as keywords for further searching.
- Scan the article for references. Sometimes these can lead you to excellent books or articles that you can find at the EVC Library or through our collection of databases.
- Don't reference Wikipedia articles in your paper, unless you are pointing out something specific to Wikipedia.