When students are assigned research papers, very commonly, professors will say, “Whatever you do, do not use Wikipedia. ” Many who research find this website credible, others believe its information is completely false. This essay will evaluate the efficiency of Wikipedia as an online resource for researching purposes; it will discuss the freedom to alter material, the credibility of the website, as well as what good comes from the use of this website for research means.
Many people believe Wikipedia is not a good, or credible, source to be used for research. Much of this comes from the possibility it gives for people to alter the content of any material information offered by the website. Wikipedia “enables any visitor to a wiki site to edit, add to, and even delete the content of any page on the site. ”(Miller) This is factual because Wikipedia gives the opportunity for any person to edit information on any topic.
For protection it is recommended that we “remember to take a cautious view of what we think it tells us. ”(Miller) The credibility of this website has decreased through the years thanks to professionals who have proved information in this website to be erroneous. This has obligated instructors who assign research assignments to restrict students from using this website as a source for information retrieval.
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Most teachers who assign research papers have as a goal to make students college ready in the sense of restricting students from plagiarism. “While supporting the goal of openness and verifiability, the username structure of the site provides complete anonymity for its editors and administrators, which renders the site constantly vulnerable to vandalism and fraud. ”(Miller) We’ve discussed a variety of cons that Wikipedia has when used as a research resource, but there are also some good in this fast-growing website.
One good that Wikipedia has is the numerous amount of information on many different topics that it provides; regardless of the lack of credibility in its information it is noteworthy that some information of all is in fact true. Another benefit that comes from Wikipedia is the list of languages it offers its information in. Currently Wikipedia offers ten languages in which the information is provided; this gives the possibility for individuals around the world to research through the content provided by this website. The freely editable nature of Wikipedia enables contributors, lay or expert, across the world to share their knowledge easily. ” (Patient-Oriented Cancer Information on the Internet: A Comparison of Wikipedia and a Professionally Maintained Database). Through the above I have mentioned the freedom for altering material, the credibility, as well as some positive aspects that come from Wikipedia as a research resource used by many. From my past experiences I can relate to events such as teachers not permitting me as a student to use Wikipedia as a research source.
Also from the vast information that this website provides I have found information that I wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere, not that I can believe much of it though. This website is growing, it is those from around the world who give a taste of their knowledge to the world through this website who are making this growth possible, but many others share nonsense and pure rubbish which is what has brought down this website’s credibility, and if those great minds in our world don’t step up, the growth of this website will come to an end.
Works Cited Miller, Nora. "Wikipedia Revisited. " ETC: A Review Of General Semantics 64. 2 (2007): 147-150. AcademicSearch Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2013. Yaacov R. Lawrence, et al. "Patient-Oriented Cancer Information On The Internet: A Comparison OfWikipedia And A Professionally Maintained Database. " Journal Of Oncology Practice 7. 5 (2011):319-323. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.
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